Look down on your land (Ps 80:14-80:18)

“Turn again!

O God of hosts!

Look down from heaven!

See!

Have regard for this vine!

Your right hand planted this stock.

They have burned it with fire.

They have cut it down.

May they perish

At the rebuke of your countenance!

But let your hand be

Upon the one at your right hand,

The one whom you made strong for yourself.

Then we will never turn back from you.

Give us life!

We will call on your name!”

Ther psalmist wanted God to look down and see what was happening. He wanted God to see that his planted vine was being burned and cut down. He wanted the rebuke of those who were doing this. He wanted the hand of God be upon those who were strong for God. They would never turn back from God. If they had life they would always call on the name of God.

Yahweh gave us the holy land (Ps 80:8-80:13)

“You brought a vine out of Egypt.

You drove out the nations.

You planted it.

You cleared the ground for it.

It took deep root.

It filled the land.

The mountains were covered with its shade.

The mighty cedars were covered with its branches.

It sent out its branches to the sea.

It sent out its shoots to the River.

Why then have you broken down its walls?

Thus all who pass along the way pluck its fruit.

The boar from the forest ravages it.

All that move in the field feed on it.”

This is a great parable about the vine and Israel that was so familiar to all. The vine was taken from Egypt. Then the ground was prepared for it and planted. Thus nations were cleared out to let the vine grow as it took deep root. This vine spread all over the land as it covered the mountains and the trees. Its branches went from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River. However, then its walls were broken down. Now anyone can come along and pluck its fruit. All the wild animals and any animals come to feed on it. Israel was being ravaged by all sets of animals and people.

How long will Yahweh be angry? (Ps 80:4-80:6)

“Yahweh!

God of hosts!

How long will you be angry

With your people’s prayers?

You have fed them with the bread of tears.

You have given them tears to drink in full measure.

You make us the scorn of our neighbors.

Our enemies laugh among themselves.”

The psalmist wanted to know how long Yahweh would be angry with them. Why did he not like the prayer of his people? He had sent them tears instead of bread. They ate and drank tears. They were the scorn of their neighbors as their enemies were laughing at them.

Prayer for deliverance (Ps 80:1-80:2)

To the choirmaster, according to Lilies, a testimony of Asaph, a psalm

“Give ear!

O shepherd of Israel!

You lead Joseph like a flock!

You are enthroned upon the cherubim!

Shine forth

Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!

Stir up your might!

Come to save us!”

Psalm 80 is another choral psalm of Asaph, a transcriber or author of psalms at the time of David and Solomon, a Temple singer at the time of Solomon during the transport of the Ark of the Covenant.  This psalm is set to the tune of the lilies, much like Psalm 45 and Psalm 69. This is an attempt of the northern tribes of Israel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh to have God come to their aid. Notice the importance of Joseph here. Remember that those northern Israel tribes were sent to captivity before the people in Jerusalem and Judah. This psalmist wanted the shepherd of Israel to listen and shine before the northern tribes. The God of Israel sat on the cherubim in the holy of holies. He wanted God to stir up his might and thus save them from their captivity.