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. Psalms 80:1-7 NIV
This is a prayer for desperate times for the people of Israel. First the prayer is asking that they be restored or return to God from their sinful ways, second that God's face would shine on them again or his favor would be on them and third that they would be safe from the enemy or their circumstances. This prayer seems it could also apply to what we are going through today. It seems like the times are getting more and more desperate and our prayers are not being heard by God.
Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
Psalms 80:17-19 NIV So the main request of this prayer is not for the people's circumstances so much but that the people would turn back to God. This is a prophetic prayer. Seven hundred years later Jesus would came into the world as the shepherd for his flocks or for us, two thousand years ago. Today he sits on the throne at the right hand of the father with all authority and power and his desire remains for us to return to him. So maybe we could ask ourselves, what is it we really desire? Is it to be comfortable in this life and to have the things of this world? Do we seek him or do we seek the things of this world? This advent season rather than looking at our circumstances and wanting to have the comforts of this world, look to him for what He came to offer us. His desire is to shine his face on us and give us life with Him forever with comforts this world cannot offer. A world with no more pain or suffering and no more destruction and no more hunger or thirst.
May His face shine on us this advent season.
by Ken Edgerly