Chris Robins, church planter in San Francisco and one of my mentors has written a wonderful piece on Psalm 80, enjoy.
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel! You who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine! (Psalm 80:1)
I remember a Korean friend describing how his language had a very strict form of reverence shown to your betters. It’s all about respect. We seem to have missed that today – from our families to our faith. I think the bobble head Jesus that sits on your dashboard and glows in the dark is disgusting. The King of kings is not your ornament. He made the universe and gave Himself for sinners. Shouldn’t be surprised I suppose – we treated Him that way the first time He came. But then I’m somewhat taken back by the poet Asaph. In the first line he uses two commands. Listen! Shine! These aren’t polite posturing. This is how you order a servant around. The Hebrew imperative is just as urgent and in your face (or rather His face) as our language is. In the lines that follow are four more. Stir up! Come! Restore! And shine! But this bold, almost impertinent tone, is mixed with awe and wonder. He calls God “Shepherd of Israel.” Then he has a vision. God enthroned on burning angels! What does this ancient worship teach us? Any reverence that isn’t bold is not from the cross. It’s merely custom. It’s a posture, beggared by its own grandiose words. On the other hand, any boldness that isn’t breathing with a sense of awe is folly. A familiarity that has drifted into its own contempt.