Today's verses are all about perspective, and I find that they contain important revelations about human decision-making.
Psalm 80:19 "Restore us, O Lord God Almighty; make Your face shine upon us, that we may be saved."
This refrain occurs three times in this passage, amidst pleas for God to remove His anger from His people. It's an interesting passage that talks about God bringing a vine from Egypt and causing it to grow. Yet something has happened; God has removed His protection from the vine.
Sometimes God does that, letting us feel the consequences of our actions and the hopelessness without Him. We need God to restore us. Without His Presence, we are destitute and broken. His face shining upon us brings peace, light, and joy. That is what I crave.
Psalm 81:13-14 "If My people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow My ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes!"
If My people would just stop rebelling, they would see the good things I have for them. That's the tone I see from this passage. Honestly, Israel got itself into more trouble by going after its own desires. But then, that's the story of humanity, isn't it? Eve wanted the one thing God said she couldn't have, and she gave us a legacy of sin and death. The Israelites turned, time and time again, away from the words of God and toward the forbidden, toward what made them feel good.
How many times have I done the same thing? I want something. God says, "No, that's not healthy." I go after it anyway. And it brings pain and misery.
It must grieve God so deeply to see us turn away from Him and all the good things He has for us and instead pursue the things that hurt us. Return to God. Seek His heart. He is always faithful.
Psalm 84:10 "Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."
I think we as humans struggle to keep heaven and earth in proper perspective. It's very, very easy to focus only on the here and now. I don't think it's wrong to enjoy the good things here on earth, but we have to remember that it's just a vapor.
This place is not our home.
Honestly, though, I don't know if I can say I'd rather be in heaven right now. I still cling pretty tightly to the things of this earth. Which just proves that my perspective is still skewed. I'm still looking in the wrong place.
I know in my head that heaven is so much better than anything I can ever imagine. My heart just hasn't latched onto that yet. So, I'll keep feeding myself truth and trust God to change my heart.
What do you think of these verses? Do you find yourself feeling the same things as me or something different? Let me know in the comments!