Monday, September 29, 2014
Psalm for Sunday, October 5, 2014
Psalm 80: 9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20 (Read)
"O Lord, take care of this vine."
The Psalm is a prayer to restore the Israelites to God’s vineyard.
The chosen people have lost God’s protection; God has removed
the hedge that He put up around them.
“God brought a vine out of Egypt and planted it.” But what kind
of fruit did God’s vineyard bear? The prophet Isaiah says in
our 1st reading that despite all of God’s efforts, nothing but wild
grapes was produced. (Isaiah 5:2) And so God broke down the
vineyard’s walls, letting, “The boar strip the vine, and the beast
feed upon it.”
There is a message here for all of us who do not bear fruit or
use our resources wisely. We could lose God’s protection,
and we may not be able to defend ourselves from the evil one
that prowls around like a roaring lion.
We, like the psalmist, need to beg for God’s mercy.
“Turn again, O Lord of hosts, attend to this vine.”
If we’re not careful, the kingdom will be taken away
from us, as it was in the Gospel, and given to a people
that will produce its fruit. (Matthew 21: 43)
We, like the Israelites, need to be restored. The Psalm's
verses pray, “Give us new life, and we will call on your name.”
Where does our hope for revival come from?
It comes from our Savior, sent by the Lord, our cornerstone,
“The son of man whom God himself made strong.”
In Him we are restored. As the Psalm says, “Lord of hosts
restore us; let your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved.”
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. The Psalm says, “Lord, take care of this vine; then we will no more withdraw
from you. Give us new life, and we will call upon your name.” Have you noticed
at times when we stray off His path how the Lord tugs at each of us so that
we return to His ways. Give an example from your own experience.
2. Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel, but his words may
apply to each of us in our separation from God. In what way are you inspired by the
Psalm's verses to repent and seek renewal?