Revive us so we can call on Your name once more.
Psalm 80:18, NLT
When God is about to do a great work, He pours out a spirit of supplication.
Psalm 80 was also written by one of Asap’s descendants and most likely he is alluding to the fall of Samaria and the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. The northern collapse shook Judah. The author of this Psalm was very concerned about the same thing happening to Judah. Psalm 80 is a prayer, a desperate plea for restoration and revival. The writer of this Psalm had keen spiritual insight and he knew that unless God revived the South, they too would fall to the enemy. The poet uses two metaphors in describing God’s people: First, he refers to Israel as sheep and secondly as a vine. Both need protection and care: neither can survive on their own. Domesticated sheep are not made for the wild: they are ignorant and defenseless. Their very nature demands a shepherd. A vine will not make it without a vine dresser or gardener. A vineyard unprotected will be over run by wild beast and thorns. Verse 17 is Messianic, “Strengthen the Man You love, the Son of Your choice.” Jesus is the fulfillment of Asap’s prayer: He is the Good Shepherd and the True Vine. Only He can put us in God’s favor, [v.19 that is, “Make God’s face shine upon us.” Only Jesus can save us from out sins. I am amazed folks, Jesus is in every Psalm. The bible is a wonderful book.
Let’s think for a moment about Revival and Prayer. Obviously Jonathan Edwards saw a connection between pray and revival. I will say this, prayer is never a waste. The prayer of Psalm 80 was answered after the Babylonian captivity when God restored His work through the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah. Unfortunately, Judah did not learn from Israel’s fall and they followed suit 115 years later. English historian J. H. Merte d’Augbique said, “The only true reformation is that which emanates from the Word of God.” He believed the word must be preached; the word must be heard and the word must be obeyed. The word is being preached: God has blessed us in that department but do we have ears to listen. What did God say to us last Sunday? The gospel must be shared with everyone without discrimination and we have to be intentional about it. Here is the problem, have any of us been intentional about sharing the gospel this week? You see, I heard the word last Sunday but I have not obeyed. Herein lies the problem with our current generation, we are not doers of the word. I agree with Vance Havner, we could fake revival by just becoming obedient. What if every member of DBC made a decision this week not to forsake the assembly. First of all, we would not be able to get everyone in the sanctuary and cars would be parked in the grass. I guarantee you it would revive me to see such a sight.
One other thought that I must share. A subject could not approach the king [throne] unless the king gave his consent which was a ‘smile’ or expression of favor. Asap’s descendant believed that the Jews had lost God’s favor and therefore, could not approach the throne. This is why he said in verse 7, “Turn us again to Yourself, O God of heaven’s armies. Make Your face shine down upon us. Only then can we be saved.” What a privilege we have to carry everything to God in prayer, a privilege earned by Jesus Himself. We have God’s favor because of Jesus and we can approach anytime day or night. Wow! I can’t approach my doctor anything day or night. I can’t approach my congressman anytime day or night. I can’t approach the president anytime at all but the Creator of the entire universe, I can approach. Is that awesome or what!
- Sad day for Sardis Springs as they laid another body to rest. Charles Dollar, age 74, passed away Sunday morning while he was getting ready to go to church. Charles was a good man. They played Tug McGraw’s ALWAYS HUMBLE AND KIND and the conclusion. I told Charles’ son, the song fit him perfectly.
- I transplanted some ivy yesterday. I figured it would put a stop to the rain. We got a tiny shower early and I got rained on in Athens yesterday evening. I’m not complaining.
- August is flying by and once Labor Day gets here, it will get even faster.
Very interesting: the one that does not surprise me at all is Lee Marvin