From the day that man fell into sin, and God promised to send Christ as The Seed of the Woman to save us, the believers have looked and prayed that Christ would come. And although the Old Testament saints did not see the Son of God come into our flesh, they did pray for Him to come.
We sing their prayers in this versification of Psalm 80:1, 2:
Great Shepherd Who leadest Thy people in love,
Mid cherubim dwelling, shine Thou from above;
In might come and save us, Thy people restore,
And we shall be saved when Thy face shines once more.
This was not a literal prayer for Christ’s coming in Beth-lehem. It was not in their minds a prayer for the wonder of the virgin birth of Christ. But it was a prayer to God that He would visit us with salvation. Literally the psalmist said, “Give ear, 0 Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up Thy strength, and come and save us. ”
Nevertheless the very fact that they pray to Him, as the Shepherd of Israel, reveals that in effect they were praying for Christ to come. For He Himself states in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”
What about you then? Christ has now come and suffered and died for our sins. Do you daily look back at His cross? Do you mention Him in your prayers? Do you ever close your prayers without mentioning this Good Shepherd? Do you plead without a “For Jesus’ sake. Amen”?
Leave Christ and His cross out of your prayers, and you leave out the only possible ground for the smallest part of the salvation which He earned for His people.
We can and must still pray that He will come again with the full salvation of body and soul. But since He came once and blotted out our sins, we must come to God on the basis of that mighty and important work. The work He did then makes His final coming possible and wonderful.
Read: Psalm 80
Psalter versification: 220:1
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.