Joys and Sorrows

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 80-85

Psalm 80 probably describes the distress of those in Jerusalem as they hear of the fall of Samaria. Three times the refrain “Restore us” is heard. They had been rival groups, but there is no note of glee, only one of sorrow. “Restore us” may express the desire that the old united kingdom be brought back into existence. So with us, problems in other denominations ought never to be a source of joy, but only one of sorrow.

The tone of Psalm 81 is different. It is probably to be sung at the Feast of Tabernacles commemorating God’s care for His people as they traveled through the wilderness. God reminds them of how He cared for them at that time in their history and how He would love to care for them now if they would only listen.

In Psalm 82, the Lord is calling the “gods” into judgment. It is not absolutely certain who these “gods” are, but in the context they are probably the rulers of the people who have failed to carry out their responsibility of providing justice for the powerless. In the Judgment Day, all officials will be held accountable for injustice.

In Psalm 83, God’s people are surrounded by their enemies. The prayer is not only for their defeat but that they may realize the greatness of God. Psalm 84 describes how blessed it is to be in God’s house. It is also a prayer for revival.


Father, revive Your church, fill all of its people with the joy of salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.