Thoughts on Restoration

“Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!

O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved!

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
It sent out its branches to the sea
and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it…

Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted…
They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down!..
But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved!” Psalm 80:3-19

Restoration: renewal, revival, or reestablishment; a return of something to a former, original, or unimpaired condition. Biblical: to receive back more than has been lost, where the final state is greater than the original condition; someone or something improved beyond measure.

A call for God to restore assumes the ear of One who has faithfully shepherded with a long view for good. It presupposes a knowledge and desire for what once was, and what could be even better. An honest call also acknowledges the reasons for present ruin: sin pests that have nibbled away at undivided hearts, boundaries that have not been tended, little foxes allowed to spoil fruitfulness. The description of the vineyard reminds us that God’s ideal can be either ravaged or intentionally pruned, but strong roots firmly planted will remain and can flourish again. (Song of Solomon 2:15)

Divine restoration begins with strong stock— in a faith commitment, a marriage, any relationship— and proceeds with a resurrecting God who calls it to spring anew. What sin and trouble have hidden or destroyed, God is able to revive and regenerate.

We may be innocent victims in present miseries and strained relationships, but likely we have played a part in the pithy grapes we’d rather spit out. God justly allows us to reap consequences for wayward actions and languid affections. His eye is ever on us, and His face shines ready to light our darkness, show us the way forward, and restore us to wholeness. (Isaiah 5:1-7)

Where specifically will we ask for restoration, and commit to seeing it through? Passion for Jesus and His word? The joy of our salvation?(Psalm 51:12)

Father, apply Your hand and shine Your face to restore all in me that is broken, so I bear forth Your glorious ideal.

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