Wednesday 6-28-2017 Modesto, California
Today we read: Amos 1 – 3, Psalm 80 and 2 Tim 4
S = Scripture, O = Observation, A = Application, P = Prayer: SOAP for the soul.
S. Ps 80:3, 7 and 19 Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. NLT
O. Psalm 80 is a desperate prayer for God to turn their nation back to Himself. I noticed in the NLT that verses 3, 7, and 19 are identical (above). The NLT is prepared for easy reading and I enjoy it a lot. But whenever I am in doubt about minute details, I always return to the old King James Version, which often seems to be the closest possible word for word translation… and if still in doubt I go to the original Hebrew or Greek. Here I discovered that these verses were not identical. In fact, they are progressive in both the KJV and NIV. And the original Hebrew backs this up. Verse 3 uses only one word, Elohiym for God. Verse 7 uses Elohiym Tsaba (God of a mass of persons) (God of Hosts KJV) (God Almighty NIV). Verse 19 closes this psalm in crescendo with Yahweh Elohiym Tsaba (Lord God Almighty NIV).
The psalmist is appealing to the Almighty Creator God of Heavenly Hosts to intervene and call His people to come to their senses and return to Himself. It is one tiny voice appealing to his sovereign Creator, “God, please tip the balance of man’s free-will just a little… just enough to awaken his senses and call him back to You”.
A. This psalm reminds me of the powerful reach of a whispered prayer in some dark corner of this world. There is no answering machine with, “Your call is important to us, please leave a message and we’ll get back to you during our work hours.” There is no tiny, echoing delay due to a distant satellite. I have a Creator Who is listening, waiting, maybe even anxious for my call.
P. Oh God: Today I walked with Your Son, Jesus, and we had a delightful time of fellowship. We didn’t fix the nation or the world. We just walked and talked. Father, it is so good to know that I have a hot-line to the Top Brass anytime I need it. Your Son, Jesus, broke the sin barrier and left the door open for unworthy, forgiven sinners like me to enter the Holy of Holies. So along with the psalmist, this morning, I plead for my fallen nation. Amen.