In Psalm 80, the psalmist paints a beautiful image of Israel as a vine set free from Egypt…
“You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land. The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. It sent out its branches to the sea and its shoots to the River. Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit? The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it. Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine”Psalm 80:7-14
The vine was planted, and God cleared space for it to grow. However, eventually, probably due to Israel’s sin and faithlessness, God removed his hedge of protection from the vineyard and the Israelites faced destruction.
According to Matthew Henry, this psalm was probably written: “upon occasion of the desolation and captivity of the ten tribes.”
God’s people were desperate and were crying out to God to save them.
The fact that the Israelites continued to come back to God, beseeching him for mercy and protection, means that they knew he was compassionate and would protect his people. That’s just who he is.
Yes, he is jealous and gets angry, but his love and mercy run so deep, and are such an integral part of who he is, that he will set his anger aside in order to protect those whom he loves.
“Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved.”Psalm 80:19