By Robert Halsey Pine
“But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself. Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name. Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” (Psalm 80 NRSV).
This appears to be a foretelling of the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, although it could have referred to a leader of the time. The psalmist seems to want to make a connection with God through an earthly leader. “Let your hand be upon the one at your right hand.” This seems to beg the need for an earthly connection with God.
In the Jewish tradition, the Messiah was to be a strong warrior type. The psalmist may have been echoing the cries of his people who wanted to be free from persecution. He says for them, “Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.”
For us the Messiah has come. Jesus is our spiritual warrior. His response to attack might be to turn the other cheek. We have the Son of man who God has placed at His right hand. His hand is upon Him. Unlike the psalmist and his contemporaries, we do not have to cry out for our savior. He has come.
The question now becomes: why do we not seek the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul? Do we have faith? Do we really believe? Or are we still trying to decide whether or not to give up control to our Father? Don’t feel bad. That is why there are so few saints among us. But we must strive for Sainthood. That is the only way. We have our Messiah. Now we must try to be like Him. It is not an easy life.
Trying to be like Christ can get you into all kinds of trouble. You will be called “holier than thou”, hypocritical, falsely pious and a weakling. Everything in the natural world will seem to come against you. But if you stay your course, the LORD God of hosts face will shine and you will be saved.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.