Jesus referred to himself as the true vine, yet the passages he refers to have an uncomfortable outcome.
You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it…it took root and filled the land. [Psalm 80:8-11]
Things start well: Just as the vine is planted and fills the land so the body of Christ has spread. Then,
Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes? [Psalm 80:12]
Since the enlightenment the walls have been broken and those who oppose the Lord have violated the Church. Yet it is Jesus who is violated, his walls broken down, his fruit stolen!
Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. [Psalm 80:14-15]
Our response is almost inevitably about what we should be doing to fix the situation. The focus is on us. The writer however, turns the focus on the Father. “Watch over this vine”, “Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand”, “Restore us Lord God Almighty”.
Are we able to take our eyes off ourselves and our methods? Can we put them on him in surrendered trust? Are we going to remain, or abide, in him?
Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. [Psalm 80:18]
The writer anticipates that when God shines on us, our hearts will be restored, and we will be saved.