Psalm 85

Psalm 85

Revive Us Again

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

85   LORD, you were favorable to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
  You forgave the iniquity of your people;
    you covered all their sin. Selah
  You withdrew all your wrath;
    you turned from your hot anger.
  Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
    and put away your indignation toward us!
  Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
  Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
  Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
    and grant us your salvation.
  Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
    but let them not turn back to folly.
  Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
    that glory may dwell in our land.
  Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
  Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
    and righteousness looks down from the sky.
  Yes, the LORD will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
  Righteousness will go before him
    and make his footsteps a way.


Psalm 85 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

He has shown favor. He has restored. He has forgiven. He has covered. He withdrew his fury. He turned away from His anger.

This is how Psalm 85 begins. It is a testimony to the God of Israel who is always faithful and always just. However, beginning in verse 4, the tone suddenly changes.

Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Your indignation toward us to cease.  5  Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?  6  Will You not Yourself revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?  7  Show us Your lovingkindness, O LORD, And grant us Your salvation.

Psalms 85:4-7 NASB

I found myself wondering, why would the psalmist state all of these wonderful truths at the beginning of the psalm if God’s anger still burned against His people?  The answer lies in the fact that restoration was not absolutely complete. The people of Israel still felt the effects of God’s discipline because of their continual sin struggle. The psalm itself is almost a microcosm of Israel’s history with the Lord. One moment they were praising Him and celebrating His victories. The next moment, they were bickering and complaining while indulging in the sins of their ancestors.

We have to ask ourselves, are we any different? The glaring issue for those under the old covenant was the inability to please God. They were never able to live in the absolute freedom of forgiveness. Though we may struggle in the same way, we have the hope and the assurance of restoration. Jesus has made it complete.

So, let us rejoice today in the saving hope of our Savior. No longer will we wander in hopelessness. No longer will we cry out for restoration to be complete. Instead, we look forward with anticipation when Jesus returns again and makes all things new.

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