Joshua 22-23, Psalm 80, Mark 4:1-2, 1 Corinthians 7:17-40
When you are faced with a situation that is apparently beyond your ability to influence, what do you do? In this psalm we find a man calling out to God to ask God to “restore”; God is the only one who can do it, and so it is to God that this man calls.
The prayer is simple, and repeated:
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! (80:3)
This exact same refrain is prayed three times over: verse 3, verse 7 and verse 19. What is more, the same cry is another time made, but this time asking that God would “turn again” and save them (the word for “restore” and “turn” has the same root idea).
Simple enough, and yet profound. For God’s people to flourish, for a church plant to thrive, for the church to be effective evangelistically—all these things require God’s intervention, help, and sustaining. And how much is this the case when things are going badly! How much do we need God to “restore us”!
Would you then this morning ask God to “restore” his people? Perhaps as you think about what is happening in the world today and how that impacts the church, you are driven to despair of any new work of God shaking heaven and earth and many people in your city or neighborhood being saved. But with God all is possible. All is needed is for God, the Almighty, to turn to us again.
Therefore, pray that he would! As you consider that situation, this problem, the other difficulty, turn that consideration, that situation, into prayer now: “restore us, O God!”
It is when God restores us that his face shines upon us, that we have his approval. And with his favor we are then saved! Ask then, ask repeatedly as this psalm does, that God would restore his people.
In particular, ask,
let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself! (80:17)
Ask that God’s anointed, his Christ, would be lifted up, be preached, be exalted, that through Christ many would be saved.
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!