Advent is a season that helps us wait for Christ's second coming while we wonder at His first coming. But for some, this is not the most wonderful time of the year. In Psalm 80, the people of Israel are crying out for God to restore them. This He would do by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to save His people from their sins. We all experience the brokenness of living in a fallen world, but the hope is that God will one day awaken His might and come to save us - fully, finally, and forever - when He comes again in the Person of Jesus Christ.
In this passage, the psalmist introduces us to the Messiah King - the Son of David and Son of God - who will rule to the ends of the earth. We may become discouraged and disheartened by persecution and suffering at the hands of the evil powers in this world, but Jesus Christ has gained worldwide victory, and in Him we can take refuge.
In this passage, the psalmist presents us with two ways in life - the way of the righteous that leads to everlasting life and blessedness, and the way of the wicked that leads to death and everlasting contempt. Which way will we choose? Will we walk with the wicked, or will we stand with those who are right with God?
As today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, we are reminded in Scripture that we can find hope in a secular culture that is antagonistic towards Christianity and followers of Jesus because God is our refuge, because God is present with us, and because God will one day establish peace on earth.
Genesis teaches us that God is all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing, and sovereign. If we have believed this about God, then we have embraced the God of Genesis, and we are ready to live for Him.
Genesis teaches us that our only hope of deliverance from sin and death and hell is in Jesus Christ - the Messiah prophesied after the fall of the first man and the first woman, whose coming had been so marvelously preserved, and whose return we eagerly anticipate when the people of God will be ushered into the joy of His presence.
Genesis teaches us that all of life is grace. Not only are we saved by the grace of God, but God also sustains us by His grace and will keep us to the end by His grace, in order that we might praise God for His amazing grace, forever and ever.
Genesis teaches us that humanity is simultaneously wonderful and awful. Though we are helplessly sinful and hopelessly lost by nature, we are also truly wonderful, not simply because we were created in God’s image, but because Jesus Christ came to redeem the image of God in fallen humanity.
In this passage, we see Jacob bless his sons which points to the reality that God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3), and we also see both Jacob and Joseph die in hope that one day God will fulfill His promise of the land of Canaan which points to the hope we have that one day God will fulfill His promise of a "new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13).