We are a turned around people. I don’t know how many times I have left the house only to return within minutes. Somehow, I forgot my wallet, car keys or my head. How many times have men made u-turns because they have refused to consult a map or asked for directions? Or how many times have we seen reckless folk utilize the turnarounds on interstates (for emergency and official use only)? To be fair, it is easy to get turned around in this insane world we live in. We are a turned around people.
However, we are not unique. In Psalm 80, the Israelites were all turned around. While reading the Bible, one would tend to think that Israel had the patent on being turned around. But, in Israel, we can all see ourselves. Three times in this Psalm the writer states, “Turn us again” (vs. 3, 7, and 19). If we are honest, most of us need turning too. We are a turned around people living in a turned around world.
There is a difference though. The Israelites may have sinned and got out of step with God, but they had enough sense to make a u-turn back to Him to receive forgiveness and a fresh start. We, as Christians, have the same opportunity and privilege, through Jesus Christ our Lord. If we fail to follow Biblical instruction and get off on a tangent we have but to turn, admit and ask God to get us back on track. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). Like the Psalmist, we call upon One who is able. “…Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved” (vs 1-3).
The nation cried out as David in Psalm 51, “Have mercy upon me, O God…wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…Make me to hear joy and gladness…Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God…cast me not away from thy presence…restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;…” (Ps. 51:1,2,3,4, 7, 8,9,10).
God can, and will, help us “turn” around if we but call upon Him. God will truly point us in the right direction-toward the Saviour.