Reading: Psalm 80
You transplanted a vine from Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
Its branches reached as far as the Sea, its shoots as far as the River.
Why have you broken down its walls
so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
Boars from the forest ravage it,
and insects from the fields feed on it.
Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted,
the son you have raised up for yourself.
Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
at your rebuke your people perish.
Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine on us, that we may be saved (NIV).
Who can turn around this situation? Who can bring this nation back to God? Essentially that was the question of the psalmist, Asaph, here in Psalm 80. Israel had been ravaged by foreign invaders. The beautiful land had been laid desolate, so Asaph pleads with the LORD. Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish. But one hope remains. Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.
Ottawa River backwaters — photo by David Kitz
Who is this son of man—this great hope of the people of God? Clearly a man—a champion like David is needed. David defeated Israel’s enemies on all sides. He turned the nation into a great military and economic power. He laid the foundation for the prosperity that followed under the wise rule of Solomon his son. Asaph is writing several generations later when all that wealth has been squandered and there is a dearth of godly leadership.
Who can save us now? The answer lies in the son of man. Jesus continually referred to himself as the Son of Man. He used that phrase thirty times in the Gospel of Matthew. All too often we are busy looking for a political savior. But what we need more than anything is the one and only true Savior. His name is Jesus Christ. He saves us body, soul and spirit from the corruption that is in the world.
Response: LORD God, on so many levels our nation is in a mess. We need a Savior to emerge. Jesus, you are the great Son of Man. I turn my heart to you. Govern my thoughts and my actions every day. Amen.
Your Turn: Who is governing you—governing your heart and mind?