1-3 | God is called to save and restore Israel
4-7 | O Lord God of hosts, How long…?
8-13 | God’s deliverance is being eaten away and being destroyed
14-19 | A promise of faithfulness for restoration
The recurring theme in this psalm is one of calling on God to restore His people, the vine, which He brought up out of Egypt and established in the land. This is echoed in three verses.
Psalms 80:3 NASB O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.
Psalms 80:7 NASB O God of hosts, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.
Psalms 80:19 NASB O LORD God of hosts, restore us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.
The names ascribed to God in each of these progressively builds.
- God – Elohim (H430) – a plural form meaning supreme God or All-Powerful One.
- God of hosts – Elohim Sabaoth (H430, H6635) – God of hosts, implying military might or power (used in v14 also). The is sometimes translated as Lord Almighty.
- LORD God of hosts – YHWH/Jehovah Elohim Sabaoth (H3068, H430, H6635) – Yahweh, the self Existent One, God of hosts (used in v4 also). Here the addition of God’s formal name, YHWH or Jehovah, given first in Exodus to Moses, is added to the phrase God of hosts, invoking the one and only God who delivered the people from the Egyptians and their gods. The One who is more powerful than any other god or army.
The psalmist is asking God to shine His face on them. Here are a couple of thoughts regarding this.
One of the Ten Commandments could be rendered like this.
2nd Commandment alternate rendering: “Don’t ever let any other god get between your face and my face.” Days of Praise devotional for June 7, 2015.
The psalmist is asking God to look on them again. We know the turbulent history of the faithfulness of God’s people through the years. They would go through cycles of faithfulness, idolatry and apostasy, repentance, and restoration with each generation who would forget all the good God had done for them. When that would happen, God would turn His face away from them, until the people humbled themselves and called out to God for salvation.
The psalmist describes how God prepared the land for them and established them as a nation using the metaphor of the vine. The vine flourished and spread from the sea (Mediterranean) to the River (Euphrates). But now it was being encroached upon and slowly being eaten away at.
Jesus uses the vine analogy to describe God’s people as well. He describes himself as the True Vine and his disciples as the branches that spread out and produce fruit. God cares for the vine, prunes when He has to, and reaps the harvest when the time is ripe.
John 15:1-8 NASB “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
How does this apply to life in our time? No matter what your situation, don’t ever let something get in between your face and God’s face. Keep your relationship with God as a first priority so that He doesn’t turn away from you.
Lord God in heaven, look down on us with compassion and help us to see Your face. Help us to live to honor You all our days and not let any other god get between You and us. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 Names of God: 21 Names of God and Their Meanings. Torrance, CA: Rose Publishing; RW Research, Inc., 2003. Print.