Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bring Us Back

Submitted by Lara Cook
You removed a vine from Egypt; You drove out the nations and planted it.  You cleared the ground before it, and it took deep root and filled the land. Psalms 80:8-9

Of all the nations of the world, Israel was God's crown jewel. For hundreds of years she had enjoyed the unmatched favor of God; she had experienced undivided fellowship with God; she had been enriched with the unparalleled fortune of God.  But golden dreams had disintegrated into filthy ashes because Israel forgot God. When Israel forgot God, God forsook Israel. Overnight Israel had gone from being a nation of conquerors to a nation of captives. She had gone from blessing to bondage.  No longer was she laughing in the sunlight of glee, she was weeping in the darkness of gloom. She had exchanged the gold bracelets of freedom for the iron shackles of slavery, and buckets of tears.  Asaph was an Israelite man who pleaded with God that He would save his country.  Here was a group of people, headed for the Promised Land, and they were in a big mess. 
Remind us – God had already planned this beautiful land, flowing with milk and honey, especially for Israel.  It was no coincidence - they did not accidentally stumble upon it.  God planted them there, and He prepared for them way ahead of time.  They were plucked out of Egypt by the sovereign hand of God and planted in a land flowing with milk and honey.  Now they had distanced themselves from Him and the consequences were tough. But they learned.  They were quickly reminded that all they had was because of Him and without Him, life was awful, and deadly.  They had stepped outside of God’s good graces and the protective barrier between them and their enemies was gone.  God took it away.  He removed Himself from their lives and they were attacked.  They pleaded for Him to return and “shine His face on them again” - Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name! Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!  Let your face shine, that we may be saved!  Psalm 80:18-19 
They turned, they remembered, and they pleaded.  They had to be reminded of how good God had been and how safe they were in His will.  We all have to be reminded sometimes.  We wander out of the bounds of God’s protection and grace and get stung.  If we are smart, we learn quickly and get back to the place that God’s face shines on us as fast as we can go.  There is nothing, nothing, nothing outside of God’s bounds for our lives that is worth the price we pay if we go after it.  The greatest place to ever be is basking in His shining face.  That is the promised land. 

Scripture to Claim:
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!  Psalm 80:3

Devotional Archive