Chapter 80

This psalm is much to the same purport with the foregoing. Some think it was penned upon occasion of the desolation and captivity of the ten tribes, as the foregoing psalm of the two. But many were the distresses of the Israel of God, many perhaps which are not recorded in the sacred history some whereof might give occasion for the drawing up of this psalm, which is proper to be sung in the day of Jacob’s trouble, and if, in singing it, we express a true love to the church and a hearty concern for its interest, with a firm confidence in God’s power to help it out of its greatest distresses, we make melody with our hearts to the Lord. The psalmist here, I. Begs for the tokens of God’s presence with them and favour to them, Ps. 80:1-3. II. He complains of the present rebukes they were under, Ps. 80:4-7. III. He illustrates the present desolations of the church, by the comparison of a vine and a vineyard, which had flourished, but was now destroyed, Ps. 80:8-16. IV. He concludes with prayer to God for the preparing of mercy for them and the preparing of them for mercy, Ps. 80:17-19. This, as many psalms before and after, relates to the public interests of God’s Israel, which ought to lie nearer to our hearts than any secular interest of our own.