Restore Us, O God
Pervasive Spirit, fill me today with new understanding of the Word. Infuse me with fresh courage, hope and resolve.
Read Psalm 80:1-19
 For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Finish then thy new creation; / Pure and spotless let us be; / Let us see thy great salvation, / Perfectly restored in thee” (Charles Wesley, 1707-1788). Memorable words from a powerful hymn, reflecting verse 18, “Revive us, and we will call on Your name”!
Restoration of precious objects is a specialized art. Given skillful attention, an old house, a piece of antique furniture or pottery, or a heritage garden can be lovingly brought back to something like its former glory. I greatly admire competent restorers in popular TV restoration shows. They need a clear vision of the desired outcome, meticulous attention to detail, great patience with complexity and setbacks–and sometimes lots of money!
What does the songwriter-poet Asaph have in mind when he pleads with God, three times (3,7,19), to restore us? Words originally spoken to Israel are equally applicable to all of God’s people, including us today. The process of restoring people with free will is surely more challenging–and more important–than restoring inanimate objects! But when successfully undertaken by the Master Restorer, it will result in tangible evidence of positive transformation from current negative predicaments. Those who have known God’s shepherding presence in the past, but are currently estranged, will experience restoration of their relationship with God and their compatriots (1,2). Those who feel their prayers are no longer heard, and have shed many tears over God’s anger and their own suffering and derision, will experience a reversal of past distress (4,6). Those who were once planted and protected as God’s vine, though now ravaged by enemies, will experience renewal of fruitful national life (8-18).
How does this process of human restoration take place? The first stage is to recognize the areas of life in which we need restoration. Maybe we identify with Israel’s issues; probably we have our own. The second stage is to call on the Lord God Almighty to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. As his face graciously shines upon us (Num. 6:25,26), we can know his salvation and patient restoration.
What does the Master Restorer need to do in your life? How badly do you want his restoration? What would the finished result look like?
Lord, what an immense privilege it is to have Your face shine upon me. Be gracious to me and give me a new heart for You.
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