Psalm 79, 80, 81

The Psalms have brought tremendous comfort and guidance to so many for so long. Join me in taking a fresh look at each Psalm. As you read through them, I urge you to reflect, pray, and apply these devotional bits of encouragement to your own life. Today, we study and reflect on Psalms 79, 80, and 81.

Reflection 1
We would do well to adopt this posture of repentance daily. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Blessed are those who know they are nothing without God and know they desperately need Him. One of the problems we face today is our reluctance to realize that we are sinners who need God’s ongoing forgiveness and grace. Many live as if they have no need for God, even people of faith. We walk through life somewhat detached from the truth of our frailty and sinful nature, but we always need the Lord and His forgiveness. Greater awareness and awakening to this truth will go a long way in drawing us closer to Christ. Less hubris and more humility will soften our hearts and make us more like Jesus. Living daily knowing we need His forgiveness and grace and thanking Him for it is what God desires. Thank Him. Seek Him. Depend on Him.
“Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.” — Psalms 79:8-9 

Reflection 2
This same phrase appears three times in this short Psalm. Like a chorus that is repeated, this refrain resurfaces. It’s a prayer I pray today and many days. Sometimes we feel broken, discouraged, depleted, sad, or empty. Sometimes we feel pain, loss, disappointment, uncertainty, or fear. It is wonderful to know that God can restore us, refresh us, renew us, and recharge us. He can fill us, encourage us, heal us, and give us the strength we need when we need it most. What is your need today? Ask God to restore you and help you. He is able, and He cares.
“Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” — Psalms 80:3, 7, 19 

Reflection 3
How do we get into trouble? Failing to listen to God. How do we experience deliverance? Listening to God. As I reflect today, I’m reminded of the importance of hearing God’s voice and listening to God’s voice. For me, this includes two parts: 1) I need to daily carve out time to talk to and listen to God. 2) I need to obey what He says. To hear and listen means to obey. I must ask myself each and every day if I have created time to talk to and listen to God specifically and exclusively. Have I turned down the noise around me to focus on Him? Have I tuned out other voices in order to hear His? Are there areas in my life where I am not listening, not hearing, and living in disobedience? In what areas of life do I need to change, grow, and obey?
“But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” — Psalms 81:11, 13-14