Psalms 80

* The psalmist complains of the miseries of the church. (1-7)

Its former prosperity and present desolation. (8-16) A prayer

for mercy. (17-19)1-7 He that dwelleth upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd

of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his

love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his

converting grace. If he is really angry at the prayers of his

people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not

right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will

try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is

displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears,

and their enemies in triumph. There is no salvation but from

God's favour; there is no conversion to God but by his own

grace.
8-16 The church is represented as a vine and a vineyard. The

root of this vine is Christ, the branches are believers. The

church is like a vine, needing support, but spreading and

fruitful. If a vine do not bring forth fruit, no tree is so

worthless. And are not we planted as in a well-cultivated

garden, with every means of being fruitful in works of

righteousness? But the useless leaves of profession, and the

empty boughs of notions and forms, abound far more than real

piety. It was wasted and ruined. There was a good reason for

this change in God's way toward them. And it is well or ill with

us, according as we are under God's smiles or frowns. When we

consider the state of the purest part of the visible church, we

cannot wonder that it is visited with sharp corrections. They

request that God would help the vine. Lord, it is formed by

thyself, and for thyself, therefore it may, with humble

confidence, be committed to thyself.
17-19 The Messiah, the Protector and Saviour of the church, is

the Man of God's right hand; he is the Arm of the Lord, for all

power is given to him. In him is our strength, by which we are

enabled to persevere to the end. The vine, therefore, cannot be

ruined, nor can any fruitful branch perish; but the unfruitful

will be cut off and cast into the fire. The end of our

redemption is, that we should serve Him who hath redeemed us,

and not go back to our old sins
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