Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1

Psalm 80:1-7
Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.
 Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.
 How long, Lord God Almighty,
will your anger smolder
against the prayers of your people?
 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,
and our enemies mock us.
 Restore us, God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

My heart can hear the cry of Israel as they gather to beg God for the restoration of their nation.  Possibly at a time when the Northern nation suffered at the hand of Assyria, being torn away from their home, they call to God who is their Shepherd.   They remember when God led their nation as a flock of sheep, ornery yet trusting.  They know only God can bring back together what was broken.  They beg for his might.  Israel cries for God to make His face shine upon them knowing only then can they be saved.  

But there is no response.  They wait and question "How long God?".  I can feel their pain, their desperation.  How many times have I begged God, cried and waited?  The desperation is at the most basic level of survival - bread of tears.  The very sustenance I need for my life has been reduced to tears.  And God allows it.  He lets me see how broken I am without Him.

Again they cry "Restore us...  Make your face shine on us, that we may be saved."

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