Book #3: 73-89, cont’d.
This is an imprecatory Psalm...one which calls upon God to judge their enemies.
For a more detailed explanation of what an imprecatory Psalm is see:
Psalm 79:1-4-Asaph describes the destruction that has taken place in Jerusalem by its enemies (the attack of Babylon in 586).
Psalm 79:5-7-He then begins to call on God to judge them.
Psalm 79:8-9-He calls upon God to save them…not because they deserve it…but because of Who He is…His “compassion” (:8), “for the glory of Thy name…for Thy name’s sake” (:9). They are not deserving of God saving them…but then, they never were. His forgiveness and salvation has always been based on His grace and not their merit (:8).
Psalm 79:10-13-Asaph asks for God to judge the enemy so that 1-they will know Who the true God is (:10); 2-Israel will be saved (:11a); 3-God will be honored (:11b); 4-the enemy will receive their just punishment (:12); 5-the people will praise Him down through the generations (:13).
In Psalm 60 title, "set to Shushan Eduth" (literally, "a lily (is) the testimony"); 80 title, "set to Shoshannim Eduth" (literally, "lilies (is) the testimony"). The Hebrew words appear to be intended to designate a melody by the first few words ordinarily associated with it.
The background of the writing of the Psalm is the capture and deportation of the northern tribes (Israel) by Assyria (701 B.C., cf. 2 Kings 17:6) and the shock and fear that it caused among the southern tribes (Judah)…where the Asaph singers lived.
Psalm 80:1-3-Asaph calls on God to save Judah…referring to Him as the “shepherd of Israel” who cares for His flock. The words “cause Thy face to shine upon us” is a request for God to smile with pleasure on them. He uses this phrase three times in this Psalm (:3,7,19).
Psalm 80:4-7-Asaph asks God how long He will allow Israel to suffer.
Psalm 80:8-11-He now recounts how God brought the Jews out of Egypt...and describes them as a vine that He transplanted.
Psalm 80:12-13-He says that God has allowed other nations to trample on the vine, and eat its fruit.
Psalm 80:14-19-Finally, he calls upon the Lord to restore them. If He does so then they will be able to praise Him.
This Psalm is associated with the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34-43).
Psalm 81:1-5-The “new moon” was the beginning of the seventh month. The “full moon” was the time at which time the trumpet would be blown to sound the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles.
For an explanation of what the Feast of Tabernacles was about see:
Psalm 81:6-10-God called the people out of Egypt and told them that they were to worship Him, and Him alone.
Psalm 81:11-16-However, the people were stubborn and would not follow His ways...so He let them do what they wanted to do. That meant that they would live by virtue of their own strength and intelligence (:12b-“devices”). God says that it is His desire for His people to follow Him. Then He would bless them (13-16).
Prayer: Father, I see so much of Israel in myself. Without thinking, not doing so intentionally…I sometimes find myself operating on my own, without consulting You. It’s not on purpose. It just seems…to happen. Without meaning to I make decisions without first asking what You want. It is so easy…because it is so natural, so human. I need to learn to live in the supernatural. After all, that’s one of the reasons why You leave us here and don’t take us to Heaven the moment we are saved. We are left here so that we might begin to learn to practice the principles that we will live by for eternity…in Heaven. Please Lord…help me. Help the principles of Heaven to become the default principles of my life. Even while I am still here…on this planet, on earth.