What direction it is in which you are going can be very important. Go rushing, in the darkness of night, toward the edge of a canyon whose steep, vertical wall drops down hundreds of feet to hard, sharp rock, and you are running to death. A parent will call his little child to stop and come back if that child is running toward a deep pool of water.
Bearing this in mind we can understand what the psalmist wrote in Psalm 80:3 , namely, "Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine: and we shall be saved." For we by nature are rushing toward hell, headed for the lake of fire. And it is urgent that we call our God and pray that He will turn us, so that we do not slip and slide into endless punishment.
Yes, we need to be turned away time and time again. For we have sinful flesh that drives us toward hell. We are conceived and born in sin, and have an old man of sin until the day we die.
Running in prayer to God will not earn salvation for us. But it will reveal that we are among those for whom Christ died in order to blot out their sins. Running to God in prayer will by God's grace save us from going over that canyon's descent into hell.
Look at the entire Psalm 80 . It begins by calling God our Shepherd. We are helpless sheep, we need a shepherd's care and protection, for on every side are wolves, tools of Satan, trying to devour us. We even have within ourselves the old man of sin, whom Satan also uses.
We do then need God as our Shepherd to turn us back and away from death. His face must shine upon us, manifesting His love to us. And we must flee from sin and run in love to Him.
Put then your trust in God and pray that He may lead you in a walk of love toward Him. He will not save and protect those who do not want it. He will save only those in whose hearts He has implanted love for Himself.
Read: Psalm 80
Quote for Reflection:
¼ Without the wall, Jerusalem lay helpless before the enemy; without the wall, Jerusalem was a reproach and shame. With the wall, Jerusalem afforded salvation to its inhabitants; with the wall, Jerusalem demanded respect. David Engelsma (SB - Oct. 2001)