Psalm 80: Almighty God is Our Shepherd, Turn Back to Him for Salvation

Psalm 80: Almighty God is The Gardner, Turn Back to Him for Salvation

Psalm 80 is another Messianic Psalm as it foretells the coming of Jesus and His Salvation. The Messiah is the True Grapevine and God is the Gardner. This is also a prayer that we can pray for Israel right now.

Psalm 80

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock.
O God, enthroned above the cherubim,
    display your radiant glory
    to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Show us your mighty power.
    Come to rescue us!

Turn us again to yourself, O God.
    Make your face shine down upon us.
    Only then will we be saved.
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
    how long will you be angry with our prayers?
You have fed us with sorrow
    and made us drink tears by the bucketful.
You have made us the scorn of neighboring nations.
    Our enemies treat us as a joke.

Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies.
    Make your face shine down upon us.
    Only then will we be saved.
You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine;
    you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land.
You cleared the ground for us,
    and we took root and filled the land.
10 Our shade covered the mountains;
    our branches covered the mighty cedars.
11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea;
    our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.
12 But now, why have you broken down our walls
    so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?
13 The wild boar from the forest devours it,
    and the wild animals feed on it.

14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies.
    Look down from heaven and see our plight.
Take care of this grapevine
15     that you yourself have planted,
    this son you have raised for yourself.
16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies.
    May they perish at the sight of your frown.
17 Strengthen the man you love,
    the son of your choice.
18 Then we will never abandon you again.
    Revive us so we can call on your name once more.

19 Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
    Make your face shine down upon us.
    Only then will we be saved.

Psalm 80 NLT

The Gardner Transplants the Vine

Long ago when America was being settled by immigrants from Europe, gardeners, vintners, and wine-growers came from France, Italy, and other European countries carrying vine cuttings. Obviously, they couldn’t bring the whole vine with them. However, they took healthy cuttings from their family wineries and vineyards to transplant them in the New World. They either planted the vine cutting in the soil directly or grafted it into an existing vine.

Similarly, God first planted the Hebrew people in Canaan through Abraham. Subsequently, He transplanted them through Joseph into Egypt. Ultimately, through Moses, He transplanted them back to the Promised Land, Israel. Under the reigns of David and Solomon, Israel thrived and grew. Nevertheless, rather than turning TO God, the Israelites turned away and worshiped the gods of the pagan nations which surrounded them.

This psalm was written around 725 BC, when God sent the Assyrians to conquer the northern kingdom of Israel. They took the Israelites captive to Assyria, then let them return to Samaria. Unfortunately, they had mixed with the pagan Gentiles returning as a half-breed nation.

Eventually, the Jews were scattered all over the world, but God is bringing them back to Israel.

The Coming Messiah

God had to give the suffering Israelites hope of salvation — a Messiah — an Anointed One that was yet to come.

In the Old Testament, the prophets referred to “The Branch” as the coming Messiah.

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.

Isaiah 11:1 NLT

The Messianic Message

I turn to the folks at Spoken Gospel to tie it all together.

Psalm 80 gives the people of Israel two hopes that are actually the same. The first is that God will be their gardener once again and restore the vine of Israel. And the second is that God will raise a human, a son of man, to sit at his right hand in the heavens. Both of these hopes are fulfilled in Jesus.

The vine of Psalm 80 was not simply a metaphor for Israel in general, but of King David and his dynasty in particular (Isaiah 11:1; Psalm 80:17). When the leaders of David’s dynasty followed God, Israel followed their example and flourished like the vine in the psalm. But when the kings after David chose idolatry and evil, Israel decayed. So for God to restore Israel after it has been destroyed, he must raise another son of David to lead God’s people into godliness and flourishing once again. But there is a problem this psalm never resolves. Even if the line of David is revived, no human, no son of man, is qualified to sit at God’s right hand.

But that problem is resolved in Jesus. Jesus was God born human (John 1:14). Not only a true son of man born from a woman but also a true descendant and son of David (Matthew 1:1-16). Jesus was the vine and son that Asaph was praying for. And in Jesus, God fully turns his face towards his weakened people. God’s own eyes saw and experienced their suffering and desolation. And in his kindness and love, he determined to restore and save them beyond their former glory (Hebrews 1:3). 

Just as Israel was destroyed for her evil and idolatry, Jesus was destroyed and buried for the sins of his people. He was mocked, as Israel was, for trusting the God who would let him hang on a cross and die (Matthew 27:39-41). And in fact, God turned his face away from Jesus as he did to Israel in Asaph’s day (Matthew 27:45-46). But just as the psalmist hoped God would restore Israel, God restored Jesus to life in his resurrection. Now Jesus, the Son of Man, is seated in heaven as a true son of God and son of David. God’s smoldering anger at our evil and idolatry has been crucified. God’s face shines on us in love and affection. And Jesus now leads his people away from evil and idolatry forever. 

Spoken Gospel

Jesus is the True Vine and God is the Gardner

John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."

In John 15, Jesus tells us that He is the True Vine and that we are the branches…

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

John 15:5-8 NLT

Only the true, born-again believers are grafted in. Are YOU grafted in?

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

The God of Angel Armies


Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

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