Psalm 80:1-19 A Lament Psalm By Asaph
Psalm 80:1-19 The Vine Shouldn’t Fall Far From The Tree
Again, the setting for this psalm is the invasion by the Assyrians. It could have been during the time of David but most likely was during the time of King Hosea (cf. 2 Kings 17:6). In that case, the author, Asaph, would actually refer to the Asaph singers based in Jerusalem. (In this commentary, Asaph refers to the writer of the Asaph singers, if not the original Asaph, worship leader under David.) If course, the situation doesn’t matter exactly, it still speaks to us today when we are feeling “under siege.” It will, of course, apply to the Jewish nation during the future time of Tribulation (see Jacob’s Trouble for more information).
The psalmist again pleads with Yahweh to listen to him (v. 1). He states that God lives above the cherubim, the highest order of angel and the most powerful, charged with guarding God and His glory. Joseph with his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, along with his brother Benjamin, are mentioned as a figure of speech (synecdoche) to represent the entire united nation.
Asaph was hoping that the oppression by the enemy would unite the parts of Israel (vv. 1-3). “Restore us” is the refrain in verses 3, 7, and 19. Asaph asks for God’s mercy, that He will set aside His anger (v. 4). He asks that God’s favor would again “shine” upon the Israelites (v. 7b). God had allowed His people to suffer throughout the siege by the Assyrians, causing weeping (v. 5) and humiliation (v. 6)
Israel is often portrayed as a vine in Scripture (cf. Isa. 5:1–7; Jer. 2:21; 6:9; Ezek. 15:1–2; 17:6–8; 19:10–14; Hos. 10:1; 14:7; Matt. 20:1–16; Mark 12:1–9; Luke 20:9–16). A vine is dependent on another entity for its support. Israel should be depending on Yahweh just as we should be trusting Jesus. God had prepared sustenance for His Vine (vv. 8-11) but then He allowed foreigners to eat its fruit and wild animals to feed off it (vv. 12-13).
Asaph now implores with the God of all armies, “hosts,” to protect His Vine (v. 14). He pleads with God to care for His Vine, especially since He Himself had planted the Vine and cultivated it. The Vine is termed a “son” in verse 15 (cf. Exod. 4:22–23; Hosea 11:1). The Vine refers to Israel.
After my son was born, over a quarter century ago, I had been reading the Psalms by adding 30 to the day of the month five times to read five psalms daily. I was able to finish the 150 psalms in a month that way. My own son was born on the 19th so I read Psalm 80 the next day and was struck by these Verses 15 and 17. I wrote them out and put them on his crib as a reminder of God’s protection for him.
But Jerusalem had been burned (v. 16), ruining the Vine. But Asaph asks God to continue to look upon the nation with favor (vv. 18-19), to restore and revive them.
When a vine has no support, does not cling to a tree, for example, it lays on the ground and dies. That was Israel’s problem. They had fallen away from God. They were dying.
The same is true for us. If we move away from God, we will end up like branches that fall to the ground, wither and die (cf. John 15:1-6). Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing of value (cf. John 15:5).
Are you deriving your sustenance and support from Jesus today? Remember, the vine should not fall far from the tree.
Proverbs 12:27-28 A Good Presentation
Nicolas Appert lived in France from 1784 to 1795. He was a confectioner and was dubbed the “the father of canning.” He lived to the ripe old age of 91. That makes sense. He was one of the first to kill germs by using heat, thus prolonging the life of food by “appertisation,” a predecessor to “pasteurization.” So you can see why he might have had a longer life.
“A lazy man” doesn’t even bother to cook his food (v. 27a). He eats it raw. You would think he would live a briefer life. A smarter person takes the time to properly prepare his victuals. He might even work on the presentation, perhaps even placing a piece of parsley on the plate.
Usually, when you do the right things, you will live longer (v. 28). In fact, if you do the right thing in trusting Christ for salvation, you will live forever!