Darby's Bible Synopsis
In Psalm 80 it is remarkable how we are upon the ground of Israel here, their past or future historical associations, not Christ (though all depends on Him, of course) or the godly Jew in the midst of the apostate assembly. We may have Jerusalem taken, confederacies, ancient deliverances of Israel, in a word, national history or prophecy concerning national circumstances; but all is external, not trials within so that Christ should come personally on the scene, save when He receives the congregation, though the godly in Israel are distinguished. Jehovah also is not referred to, save prospectively, when they enter into the new covenant, until the judgment of the last confederacy, which makes Jehovah known as Most High over all the earth. These psalms do not, I apprehend, exclude the Jews they are part of Israel; and then in Judah, Jehovah will be revealed: only all Israel, including Joseph, is historically brought in the nation. In this psalm God is addressed as the Shepherd of Israel, who leads Joseph like a flock, and dwells between the cherubim. This is, again, historic Israel. It is not God calling from heaven, nor coming. He is seen by faith only when He is there, having taken His place in Israel.
The psalm is a remarkable one. It sees God in Israel His throne of right there, and looks to His shining forth, stirring up His strength to help them; but still, as in Israel of old in the desert, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh were immediately next the ark behind the tabernacle, and the sanctuary went immediately before them on the march of the camp (Numbers 10) This was Jehovah, God of hosts. Faith looks for His presence in power with His people as it was then. The touching inquiry is, How long the urgency of faith wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? This is also viewed in faith. The vine brought out of Egypt was laid waste; its hedge (as, indeed, Isaiah had threatened them) was broken down. Tears were the drink of Jehovah's people. They beseech God to look down from heaven and visit the vine, the vineyard, and the branch made strong for God HimselfDavid's family, I suppose. Still it was God's rebuke; but further, it looks that the divine hand of power should be upon the man of that power the Son of man whom God had made strong for Himself. We can understand from this, and not merely from Daniel 7 (which merely gives a peculiar place to the Son of man), why the Lord gives Himself habitually the title of Son of man. He is the One, then, indeed rejected, but upon whom God's right hand is to be in power. To this the Lord refers, Luke 22:69 (only reading "henceforth" for "hereafter"). Come down in grace, His mission there was closed; from that hour they would only know Him in exalted judicial power. It gives large importance to the name, and taking in Psalm 8 brings the deliverance of the remnant of Israel into the wide scope of His power; for as Son of man He takes manhood up in His own Person according to the counsels of God, only is over all the works of God's hand. He is Lord of all, but as such, and in virtue of His own work for them, effectuates this deliverance of the remnant of Israel. Thus the people of Jehovah would be kept. Such is the cry of this psalm the coming in of power from Jehovah, the God of Israel power laid upon the Son of man. The cry is occasioned by the great distress in Israel; still Jehovah is looked for, and faith sets Him in Israel. When He thus visited them, they would not go back from Him; when He quickens them out of the dust, they will call on His name (compare Psalm 2, Messiah).
Verses 3, 7, 19 (Psalm 80:3; Psalm 80:7; Psalm 80:19) give the theme of desire: still outward deliverance is looked for. Verse 17 (Psalm 80:17) demands special attention in the point of view already noticed, as showing what was in the Lord's mind when presenting the immense anomaly that this Son of man should suffer. Psalm 8, of course, gives the key, in the purposes of God, as to both humiliation and exaltation, and man's place. It was this humiliation the Lord pressed upon His disciples. Now they look for the display of divine power in Him. The assembly, and its union with Christ, and adoption individually known, are the only things I am aware of not revealed in the Old Testament; all as to Christ was. Perhaps we may add His present position as priest. Neither of these is mentioned in the titles given to Christ in the first chapter of John's Gospel, nor His being the Christ.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.
Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.
Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;
And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.