Psalm 80:3
Restore us, O God, and cause Your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved.
Sermons
Real SalvationS. Conway Psalm 80:3
The Turnings and Returnings of GodR. Tuck Psalm 80:3
God's RedemptionC. Short Psalm 80:1-19
The Almighty in Relation to Erring ManHomilistPsalm 80:1-19
The God that Dwelleth Between the CherubimsJ. S. Broad, M. A.Psalm 80:1-19
The Mercy-SeatJ. Parsons.Psalm 80:1-19
The Relative DeityHomilistPsalm 80:1-19
The Word God Means the Shining OneCynddylan Jones.Psalm 80:1-19


1. Three times is this prayer repeated, but with slight, though noticeable, difference. Here, in its first utterance, it is addressed only to God. But the second time (ver. 7) it calls on God as "God of hosts." The eye of faith saw the ministers of God's power around him, the hosts of the holy angels who waited to do his will. Then the third time (ver. 19) it is the "Lord God of hosts" on whom he calls, making mention of the covenant name by which God was known in Israel as especially their God. Hence our argument for faith. If God be our God, then he will help us. Thus "Faith's clay grows brighter as the hours roll on; and her prayers grow more full and mighty." Prayer warms to its work, and in it. Often we begin with but scant store of trust, but as we pray on our hope and confidence grow. Therefore be instant in prayer.

2. Note the opening words of this prayer. It is "turn us," not our circumstances and conditions. Many people think that if these were right they would be right; but the truth is far more often just the other way: it is toe who want changing; if the Lord turn us, then all the rest will be of small import, and will be turned as much as will be for our good. And it is not a mere improvement, a patch on the old. garment, that is wanted - just a partial reformation here and there, but a complete change. "Ye must be born again." God must "turn us." An old sea captain replied to a faithful minister who, in seeking to lead him to God, told him that he had better sail from henceforth under another flag, "No," said the sailor, "that won't do; I mean to scuttle the ship, and get a new one altogether; there's nothing else to be done. I've tried to mend the other often enough." He was right. No partial amendment will save any soul. And God must turn us. There is a human side in man's salvation, but there is still more a Divine side, and the first work is of God. He ever seeks us before we seek him. And when he fully saves a man, it is along the lines suggested by our text. There are three stages in the work.

I. GOD TURNS US. And he does this:

1. By giving us repentance. Too many keep calling on men to "only believe." Christ and his apostles never bade men "only believe," when they sought salvation. But Christ commanded that "repentance and faith" should be preached, not faith only. Where, as with the Philippian gaoler, the apostle said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," etc., it was because repentance had already taken place, the man was really repentant at that moment. And whenever God turns a soul to himself, it is by way of repentance. This means that the soul sees its sin, feels and grieves over it, renounces it before God and man.

2. My leading us to faith. Not the mere belief of any doctrine about Christ, but more than that - the actual committal of himself to Christ for salvation; actually trusting him to pardon, accept, and save. Now, this is the complete spiritual change which the word "turn" implies. It is the first great step in the soul's salvation. Then -

II. GOD TURNS US AGAIN. The prayer is, "Turn us again. Now, what does this mean?

1. It may be the prayer of a penitent backslider. This psalm contemplates Israel as such. And unless the backslider is turned again, he cannot be saved. He must come back to God. But:

2. It is the prayer of one who seeks full salvation. After repentance and faith, which constituted the great first step in salvation, and which do save a man if he abide therein, there is given a higher gift to him who heartily desires it. It is called in Acts 8., 18., 19., speaking of the Samaritan converts, of Apollos, and of the twelve disciples of John at Ephesus, the receiving of the Holy Ghost" It is a distinct and further and most blessed gift, qualifying for service, and uplifting the soul to a stage of experience which it has not known as yet. It separates the soul from sin, secures the clean heart, and wins the fulfilment of that glorious promise in Ezekiel 36:25, and the many others like unto it. The believer is made "pure in heart," and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses him from all sin. This comes from the receiving of the Holy Ghost. We are delivered from that miserable round of sinning and repenting, which the mass of professing Christians wearily travel, and, instead thereof, a life is lived in which the "whole spirit, soul, and body is preserved blameless." It is the "abundant life" which our Lord came to give.

III. GOD CAUSES HIS FACE TO SHINE. This tells of "the joy" of God's salvation, that walking in the light which ensures that here and now the days of our mourning are ended. It is that holy, happy, joyful, winsome religion which is what our God intended us to have, which not a few have enjoyed, and which waits for all those who truly seek it. Then, when all this is, then "we shall be saved." God will be glorified, we ourselves filled with the love of God, and our fellow men will be blessed through us as otherwise they cannot be. Then will our religious life answer to the beautiful description given in vers. 8-11. "Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus." - S.C.









Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Homilist.
I. DIVINE GREATNESS, "Lord God of hosts." What hosts are under Him? All the tribes of irrational life on this earth, all classes of men, all the stars of heaven, all the myriad systems of globes in space, all the innumerable armies of intelligent existences, both the happy and the miserable, He is Lord of all. How great is God! "To whom will ye liken Me? saith the Lord," etc.

II. DIVINE GRACIOUSNESS. "Cause Thy face to shine."

1. The enjoyment of God's graciousness requires a Divine change on man's part. "Turn us."(1) Some do not see God at all. "God is not in all their thoughts."(2) Some see His frown. Their guilty conscience invests Him with terrible attributes and covers His face with the frowns of indignant justice.(3) Some see His shining face. "Thy face" — beaming face; Such are they whom He has turned to Him, by repentance towards Him and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. The enjoyment of God's graciousness involves the realization of man's highest hopes, "And we shall be saved." What is that? We know what it meant to the author of this poem; but it means infinitely more to all human souls.

(Homilist.)

This seems to be the only prayer the psalmist puts up in this psalm, as being of itself sufficient for the removal of all the ills over which he mourned. The reason is obvious. He had traced all the calamities to one source — "O Lord God, how long wilt Thou be angry?" and now he seeks refreshing from one fountain.

I. THE BENEFITS OF REVIVAL TO ANY CHURCH IN THE WORLD will be a lasting blessing. I do not mean that spurious kind of revival. I do not mean all that excitement attendant upon religion, which has brought men into a kind of spasmodic godliness, and translated them from sensible beings into such as could only rave about a religion they did not understand. I do not think that is a real and true revival. God's revivals, whilst they are attended with a great heat and warmth of piety, yet have with them knowledge as well as life, understanding as well as power. Among the blessings of the revival of Christians are —

1. The salvation of sinners. For this we must, and will, cry, "O Lord our God, visit Thy plantation, and pour out again upon us Thy mighty Spirit."

2. The promotion of true love and unanimity in its midst. Oh, if God gives us revival, we shall have perfect unanimity.

3. The mouths of the enemies of the truth are stopped.

4. The promotion of the glory of God. If we would honour God by the Church, we must have a warm Church, a burning Church, loving the truths it holds, and carrying them out in the life.

II. WHAT ARE THE MEANS OF REVIVAL? They are twofold. One is, "Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts"; and the other is, "Cause Thy face to shine." There can be no revival without both of these.

1. "Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts."(1) Your minister feels that he needs to be turned more thoroughly to the Lord his God.(2) But there are some of you who are workers in the Church. Large numbers are actively engaged for Christ. Now, what I exhort you to is this: cry unto God — "Turn us again, O God." You want more of the Spirit of God in all your labours.(3) "Turn us again" must be the prayer of all of you, not only in your religious labours, but in your daily lives.

2. The other means of revival is a precious one — "Cause Thy face to shine." Ah! we might ask of God, that we might all be devoted, all His servants, all prayerful, and all what we want to be; but it would never come without this second prayer being answered; and even if it did come without this, where would be the blessing? It is the causing of His face to shine on His Church that makes a Church flourish. A black cloud has swept over us, all we want is that the sun should come, and it shall sweep that cloud away. There have been direful things; but what of them, if God, our God, shall appear?

III. Come, now, let me stir you all up, all of you who love the Saviour, to SEEK AFTER THIS REVIVAL.

( C. H. Spurgeon.).

Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
Homilist.
I. TRUE WORSHIP (vers 1-5)

1. True worship is the highest happiness, which consists in —

(1)Right activity. Worthy of our nature. In harmony with all our faculties.

(2)The highest love.

(3)The sublimest hope.

2. True worship is a Divine ordinance, binding on all moral intelligences.

(1)Right in itself.

(2)Essential to their happiness.

II. DIVINE KINDNESS (vers. 6-10). This appears in —

1. Their deliverance from thraldom. God's mercy should inspire the soul with gratitude; and gratitude is an element of worship.

2. Answering their prayer.

3. Giving them direction.

III. HUMAN FOOLISHNESS (vers. 11-16). By disobedience they lost —

1. His superintending care.

2. Victory over enemies.

3. The choicest provisions. Disobedience to the Divine law is supreme folly. Sinners are fools. The Bible calls them so, and the experience of humanity proves them such.

(Homilist.)

If you begin praising God you are bound to go on. The work engrosses the heart. It deepens and broadens like a rolling river. Praise is something like an avalanche, which may begin with a snowflake on the mountain moved by the wing of a bird, but that flake binds others to it and becomes a rolling ball: this rolling ball gathers more snow about it till it is huge, immense; it crashes through a forest; it thunders down into the valley; it buries a village under its stupendous mass. Thus praise may begin with the tear of gratitude; anon the bosom swells with love; thankfulness rises to a song; it breaks forth into a shout; it mounts up to join the everlasting hallelujahs which surround the throne of God. What a mercy is it that God by His Spirit will give us greater capacities by and by than we have here! for if we continue to learn more and more of the love of Christ we shall be driven to sore straits if confined within the narrow and drowsy framework of this mortal body.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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