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God's Flock and God's Vine

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
January 3, 2022 7:00 am

God's Flock and God's Vine

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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January 3, 2022 7:00 am

"Make your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved." God’s people cry out to Him again. But while they worship Him with their mouths, their hearts have grown cold. God has a shepherd’s heart but a sovereign’s might. Will He save His people?

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Make your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved. God's people cried out to him again while they worship him with their mouths, their hearts have grown cold. God has a shepherd's heart but us sovereigns might will he save his people to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically, we adjourned to see the face of God. We want to abide with him and feel his presence but sometimes our hearts are far away. Let's join Dr. Boyce as he examines Psalm 80 and discovered the key to having God's face shine upon his people. We don't sing very many choruses that attend church but for anybody who likes choruses you really like Saul made a song or the chorus you find that there three times. It's in verses 37 in 19 since you have three courses you also have three stanzas of a stanzas are of unequal length how one stands in verses one and two second one verses four through six and then stands at three of the longest of all is in verses eight through 18. Now it's divided up in our translation. The new international version, but it's all one subject matter is were going to see how the settlement structure is an awful lot like Psalms 42 and 43 probably can't remember back that far in our exposition but if you know the solar if you read the Psalms and other those two songs really belong together because I had the same car stereos of choruses found twice in Psalm 42 and then is found one more time. In Psalm 43 in the subject matter really belongs together so that Psalm is very much like this one and this is the only other one we have now they point of the chorus as it sets the tone and establishes the theme for the song and in the case of Psalm 80 which is the one we're studying now it does it by asking God for restoration of his first rate. Restore us all.

God make your face shine upon us and we may be saved is undoubtedly some kind of growth in intensity and not chorus as you move through this all because of you notice it and compare what you have in verses 37 in 19 your fine is virtually identical except that the name of God gets longer verse three it says restore us of God. In verse seven it says restorers of God Almighty.

In verse 19, the longest of all it says restore us oh Lord Almighty begin to get a clue as you compare that to the intensity of the psalmist and what he's expecting you, saying, in effect, there is no deliverance anywhere except in God. Now that is the way we have to approach it. When he asked for restoration, we have to ask ourselves what restoration he's asking for is us. Tell us about the historical setting. Well, as usual. Common data is disagree on this first stanza begins talking about God as Israel's Shepherd that links it with the earlier to Psalms 3 Psalms are having to do with God is a Shepherd of Israel with the historical setting has to be different because in those earlier Psalms and we've been studying Jerusalem is been destroyed here. Not only is Jerusalem not destroyed, but even the northern kingdom is not destroyed. So this must be a prayer for preservation. One of these kingdoms, and since it refers to Israel explicitly in a little later on. It speaks of Ephraim and Manasseh to northern tribes two sons of Joseph mentions Joseph as well. That's probably right to think that this is a song for the restoration of the northern kingdom sometime before his fall to the armies of Seneca ribbon 721 BC French village says Almost as it seems brazen at time in which the oppression of Assyria rested heavily upon the kingdom of Ephraim and Judah saw itself threatened with ruin. When this Boulevard fallen Septuagint.

That's the Greek translation of the Old Testament seems to endorse this, at least in the judgment of those translators because like Psalms 76 adds to the title song concerning the Assyria.

I have added a background now this striking feature of the Psalm is fit in around the choruses that I just mentioned is that it has great images for the God of Israel. Verse one is the image of God as Israel's Shepherd developed very briefly in verses one and two, and then the second image is that of God is the planter and the caretaker of the vineyard which stands for Israel and its develop in that long third stanza that I was talking about. Now this first image is image of God he Shepherd is one of the ways the Bible has frequently of talking about God we can understand that because the Old Testament was written for a pastoral people. Most people Animals they understood very well in a Shepherd was and how much work it was a wayward sheep were Saul when the psalmist speaker. Other passages in the Bible speak about God being a Shepherd. All those people would understand that right away. As I said, you find a lot of other places.

Some of the most poetic passages of the prophets speak of God, a Shepherd, for example, Isaiah 40, verse 11, he tends his flock like a shepherd gathers the lambs in his arms and carries him close to his heart. He gently leads those that have young provided in the New Testament. Very extensive development of that idea.

In John 10 well now. Here Jesus takes that Old Testament imagery.

God is my shepherd, and he uses it of himself shows that way, virtually identifying himself God of the reason I am with you. I am the good shepherd is from John 10 verses 14 through 16. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the father knows me and I know the father I laid on my life for the sheep. My mother sheep that are not of this plan was bring them all so they too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. Peter called Jesus the shepherd and the overseer of our souls very ending of the book of Hebrews. That's the image of five you know how that goes. Benediction May the God of peace through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with anything good for doing as well. It may work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.

Amen.

That's a great theme. I should point out I think it's an interesting point that although that is a dominant theme throughout the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament very strong in the prophets in the teaching of our Lord. It's only found twice in the solar found in Psalm 23. Of course know that one and the second places right here may be helpful when we talk about this image of God, a Shepherd to know that the earliest reference to God as the shepherd is by Jacob, Abraham's grandson and you find a way back in the book of Genesis and 48 chapter where Jacob speaks of God is the one who is been my shepherd all my life. To this day, the angel who delivered me from all harm is not so interesting is that Jacob himself was a Shepherd and it was a difficult job and he describes it in one place. Recall that when he ran away from his uncle Laban taking their flocks in the daughters are now his wives, Laban pursued him. Jacob was not a very talkative person singular been retiring put up with a lot. He was shy but he was provoked to at this time and he spoke up and said I shepherded your flock for 20 years and take me awake at night and I had to be there in the heat of that day in the sun and it was cold at night and that if God hadn't taken care of me you would've sent me away with nothing and I was the shepherds walked so when he said God is my shepherd. He understood what he was talking about. I learn something else to. That's part of Jacob's use of the image you learn that he wasn't able to shepherd himself largely wasn't able to run his own life. He thought he could. At one time he thought he could make his own plans.

He was rather short loading thought I can get by with my wits discovered it didn't work out that way and what he needed was God is a Shepherd now, that's absolutely same with us in his wayward days. I know Jacob would've acknowledged God, he ran away home and his brother was threatening to kill them but God indefinitely said this, God shall be my God put it in contemporary terms of you and said to limit your Christian course that yes but still he was living his own way wonderful thing to see what she's testifying to the end of his life even though he was wayward like a wayward sheep God. Nevertheless, didn't cease to be a Shepherd. So when we take the image and apply Israel we say God is Shepherd of Israel, even though they are wayward God is our shepherd. Even though we are wayward is a good thing. He is now to say, however, according to Psalm although God is introduced as the Shepherd of Israel. This doesn't mean what we might think of as a Shepherd that is young David out there boy in the field gentle, almost helpless doing to take care of sheep something like that. But that Psalm says is that the Shepherd of Israel is nevertheless the one who sits enthroned between the cherubim that is either a reference to the cherubim were on the lid of the ark of the covenant in the most holy place of the tabernacle or its thinking of the cherubim in heaven because there passages that refer to that picture on earth is only a symbol of what was understood to be in heaven. The weather is on earth or in heaven's sake. This shepherd is the mighty one of Israel as God were talking about was truly as a shepherds care, but he doesn't with the sovereign's might. That's the basis of the appeal. The appeal says so awaken your might come and save us first to the first time the recurring chorus appears as in verse three, and it's immediately after this it peeled of the great light of Israel. Shepherd what it says is this restorer so God make your face shine upon us is undoubtedly a reference to the ironic blessing back in the sixth chapter of numbers. God gave instructions to the priests particularly dire in saying this is the way that your to bless the people is what your to say the Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

I suppose the psalmist must've heard that a thousand times 10,000 times made so when he comes to write the psalmist's natural language to them what we need for God to turn his face in our direction. Once again smile upon the way we would put it in his face shine upon us, mean look upon us favorably. That's what he's talking about here. I suppose because that idea of seeing God's face is greater overtone may also have been thinking of an even greater blessing the matching of the great desire of the people of God down through the Old Testament.

Was to see the face of God say we see your handiwork in nature and we marvel at that to your power demonstrated in history and your protection. I was as a people. What we must long for as you want to see you. We want to see you face-to-face Moses made that request and 33rd chapter of Exodus. He said now show me your glory wanted to see the face of God and God sent out I'll put you in a cleft of the rock.

I'll pass by you'll see my power in my might and you can see my face because no one can see my face and live. That's a great destiny of God's people and desire. Theologians call it the beatific vision see the face of God. Maybe certain censuses watch psalmist is talking about as well. Let me say something of what he's asking for here is a God might be favorable, and if this Psalm is written before the fall of the northern kingdom as it seems to be, and we know that God did not smile favorably upon the people and save the kingdom and we know the reason why because the sin of the people made it very clear the repenting of the sin. So Psalm is a warning among other things, that restoration is not automatic because God is the Shepherd doesn't mean that he doesn't punish the sheep and so here you have a warning when you pray restorer so God make your face shine upon us.

It must be accompanied by repentance for our transgressions on the second stanza of this Psalm following the chorus versus 456 is a description of Israel's present plight public area etc. next relational why the nation needs to be restored and the reason is very clearly is a God is angry and is angry. As seen in the fact that he has allowed the enemies to come in upon them the crash upon the single courses of sin has consequences. And so that stanza speaks of these two consequences of storing it in poetic language what it says is this it says that the people in been made to eat and drink tears and that they have become the taunt of their enemies. However, very good example of this from this time not from the north. I think this is about the northern kingdom but the same kind of example we find in the South.

The king had come up against the southern kingdom. He had surrounded Jerusalem, and Hezekiah was the king sent message to Hezekiah message was that you find it in second Kings the 18th chapter is any god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria.

Where are the gods of payment and iPod or the God self suffered via Machina and Yvonne have they not only rescued Samaria for my hand.

Of all the gods of these countries is been able to save his land from the how then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem for my hand.

I was taught a very powerful one. Fortunately, Hezekiah was a man of God he know what to do with it. He brought it before the Lord laid letter was sent to the Lord in the temple, and he said the Lord.

This is what he saying and it's true. Gods of these nations round about it not been able to deliver their lands from the hand of the king's inaccurate but you Lord. So is everyone you to deliver us, and God did and that night he sent an angel among the Assyrian troops and hundred and 85,000 of them were slain selected lies.

He couldn't carry on the campaign turned around and went home. He was killed by his own sons.

When he got back how it didn't happen in the north. They we have to keep that in mind, this is about the north didn't happen in the north. That's because they didn't have godly people that suck the face of God is what Alexander says about this second stanza in just three verses psalmist points to an angry God, weeping nation and mocking foes in the second great metaphor of this Psalm is that of the vine God is that plantar and the developer and the restorer of the mind defined it as I said in verses eight through 18 on the new international version of the section is itself divided the stances mentioned earlier verses eight through 1112 through 15, 16, 18 you look at these carefully is easy to get the flow of thought. Because the first of those subdivisions deals the past. The second one deals with the present and the third deals with the future. I like this image of the shepherd image of Israel is applied.

God is the vine dresser and Lander of the vine is also found throughout the Bible and especially in the Old Testament mentioned Jacob earlier.

Jacob used this image in his final blessing on the tribes he called Joseph a fruitful vine mirror Springs branches climb over the wall some beautiful passages in Isaiah. One of them.

The fifth chapter begins my loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside, very poetic language goes on from that .20 seventh chapter again sing about a fruitful vineyard but is -2nd chapter of Jeremiah verse 21 God complains I have planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock.

How then did you turn against me into a corrupt wild vine Hosea has two important passages Israel was a spreading vine. He brought forth through for himself.

Tragic situation again looks forward to a day of future blessing. He will blossom like a vine and his fame will be like a vine from 11 Psalm 80 in spite of the fact that that image occurs elsewhere is the only Psalm all the solar will.

This image is used for of Israel in any sense now has three parts personal others past. As I mentioned the God bringing this vine out of Egypt and planning, and prospering because I would clear the land got rid of the nations who were there before weeded out the garden. Many plants vine the cares for it so grows up quickly to be a mighty vine covers the mountains and stretches all the way from the Mediterranean Sea in the west of the river Euphrates on the east on a very powerful image describing what God is done because God is indeed brought Israel out of Egypt into a new landing clear the land of the enemies in the planted energy to grow and prosper as the present. That's what the next sub stanza talks about. And here is a ruin vineyard subscribing people's present condition, why have you broken down its wall walls of the vineyards of all opacified pickets, grapes, boars from the forest grab Egypt and the creatures of the field feed upon it. An idea of the breaking down of the walls has led some commentators is why you have a difference of opinion here.

To think that while this is describing the destruction of the walls of Samaria was the capital, and it was the last fortress of that doesn't necessarily follow it likely that that's what speaking of, but the walls could refer to the frontiers borders that's the case, saying that the enemies that surrounded the nation of breach borders are beginning to ravage the land to see. That's why Islam would be written to begin to pray for restoration. I suppose the strongest reason for refusing to place the Psalm after the destruction of the northern kingdom is a nobody would've thought of restoration at that point the destruction was just to complete the land was utterly devastated. The people were deported and you can hardly say at that point God restore Israel in the country and the nation was just gone. Now in this third stanza we come to the future and this is looking forward to restoration through one was called the Son of Man that there's hope yet with all the frontiers are broken down in the enemies are encroaching on the land capital is in danger of falling and the people in the South well or worried in spite of all that there is hope and that is for restoration by verse 17, the manager right hand, the Son of Man, you raised up yourself as a question.

Who is the Son of Man's natural for us to think of Jesus Christ because he used those words of himself. He called himself the Son of Man, I think not borrowing them from the song, but rather from the book of Daniel, but nevertheless that's crazy.

You referred to himself as the Son of Man, so we say well this must be speaking of a future restoration through Jesus Christ, the Messiah should complement may be, but is not quite so clear. That's what is meant here, let me suggest three possibilities. First of all, the manager right hand could be the current king, either the king of the northern kingdom if it had not yet fallen king in the South had fallen would be right way of talking about the king is a man you set up at your right hand is the one year going to contact.

I find the thick commentators differ at this point there are differences even among the conservative commentators on that I frequently referred to as the great Lutheran commentator HC Leopold. He says there seems to be no other feasible way of interpreting verse 17 and to think of it as being a prayer for the king sits upon the throne of Israel.

Now if that's the case with rare is is this is asking God to restore the king in order that the king may live righteously and of the King lives righteously. The people are going to follow along and repent of their sin in the nation's going to be restored out could mean that the second possibility is that the reference could be to the people themselves as grows out of kind of a careful reading of the songs they look back at verse 15 we find that it also uses the word son when you got the same word in very close proximity is only two verses a parking attendant interpreted the same way you normally show the lesser is a reason to the contrary and back in verse 15. This clearly refers to Israel because it's parallel to the phrase the root of your right hand that you planted talking about Israel is a vine that is planted and seem to be identified with the sun that's the case here is talking about the people now who has this point of view. Well, no less a scholar than John Calvin is what he thought about the Son of Man was.

Israel is also the position taken by Stuart Perrone and that fits you elsewhere. Israel is called the firstborn son of God for second possibility, another third is what I referred to earlier, and that is Son of Man refers to Jesus Christ. This was the interpretation, interestingly enough, given to the verse by the later rabbis Jewish scholars and himself spotted referred to the Messiah, and this is what Charles Haddon Spurgeon thought he said there is no doubt here in Outlook to the Messiah whom believing Jews learn to look as the Savior in time of trouble.

I think Calvin is right so far as interpretation of the Psalm is concerned you go by the Psalm itself when it says so on. This use of verse 15 of Israel referring Israel here but all that aside, it is nevertheless true. Jesus is the Son of Man is the Savior and the Messiah have to remember that he referred to himself as the wine called himself line in John's Gospel called himself the truth behind what he meant by that is that he was the essential realign any other vine just sort of shadow archetype. Little suggestion of what he might be. Israel was like that to see but he was the fulfillment remember what he sent John 15 is where he developed a visa lying on the blind. My father was the gardener set on the line. You are the branches. Said you can't bear fruit of yourself. You have to abide so whatever. I think this may have meant back then these people wanted means losses that we need the Lord Jesus Christ were to be fruitful or do anything. You see, without God. Israel could do nothing.

At least she could do nothing but said that she did in abundance and because of that, that the judgment of God came upon the northern kingdom order to survive and prosper even live the people of the old covenant had to abide in God, no less.

We Jesus Christ and his power were unable even to believe the salvation without Jesus Christ, and his power were unable to live a holy life Jesus Christ of his power, we can't bear any spiritual fruit because he said about me you can do nothing is what Spurgeon said without the Lord you will do nothing, measurable cloud lambda proposals and not a spot of solid doing large enough for a dove split the rest of Spurgeon put it the other hand, you see this, Paul wrote to the Philippians were in Christ we can do everything because these are strength or power prayer father were thankful for this Psalm for blessing it was to people of the old dispensation and the blessing it is your people today because your government to the church of all ages look to it and we find that you are our shepherd and Jesus Christ as our Shepherd. We look to it and find that you're the one you planted the line, we find that Jesus himself is the true vine, and that we are to prosper by being closely joined to him. Father granted me might do that in the lesson judgment Psalm reflects we might learn from back to order that we might be fully blessed under your loving hand keeping care.

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