By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
We serve a God who plants seeds.
This is the analogy that the Psalmist uses in Psalm 80. It’s a Psalm of insistence. It’s clear that Israel is in trouble and the Psalmist is beseeching God to act.
Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
Restoration is needed. That which Israel had–the relationship that has been broken, the city that has been destroyed–needs to be restored. The Psalmist knows Yahweh is the only one who can do it.
Why? Because Yahweh is the one who planted the seed.
“You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land. The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. Its branches reached as far as the Sea, its shoots as far as the River” (Psalm 80:8-11).
God planted the seed of Israel. After they grew into a vine, He delivered them from Egypt because they were being crushed. He cleared out fertile ground, free from any nations that may come against them, and He planted them once more.
In their new location, Israel was doing good things! They were powerful. They had influence. They had reach.
But then something happened. Walls were broken down. Forests were ravaged. God left. And now the Psalmist prays for restoration. I think this Psalm of urging and lament shows us that we serve the God of planting. Sometimes God plants the seeds and we are the ones He wants to do the planting.
What God plants He blesses and what He blesses He sustains.
But there are some seeds God has placed under our control. We are charged with the task of watering them and seeing that they find the sun. And if we are faithful, we will see our seeds continue to grow and be fruitful.
But Psalm 80 shows us that we can have a negative effect on the seeds of God. While we can be a source of help, we can also be the thorns that choke the seeds that He has planted. We can be the boars that ravage the forest or the catapults that break down the walls.
Israel was God’s Chosen People, the seed that was meant to be a reflection of God to all the other nations. But Israel’s disobedience and selfishness caused them to instead scorch the seed which was planted.
When we are charged over the seeds that God has planted, He has graced us with the opportunity to impact how they grow–for the better or for the worse.
Find your seeds and bring your watering can.