Psalms of Honesty and Truth
The Scottish preacher George H. Morrison said, “The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings,” and he is right. It is a sin to disobey God and fall, but it is also a sin to stay fallen. We must always make a new beginning, and this psalm gives us some instructions that we can follow after times of failure and chastening. Psalm 85 which is song of praise for the end of Babylonia captivity gives a look at how God restores us.
Psalm 85, NLT
Lord, you poured out blessings on your land!
You restored the fortunes of Israel.[a]
2 You forgave the guilt of your people—
yes, you covered all their sins. Interlude
3 You held back your fury.
You kept back your blazing anger.
4 Now restore us again, O God of our salvation.
Put aside your anger against us once more.
5 Will you be angry with us always?
Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
6 Won’t you revive us again,
so your people can rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory.
10 Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!
11 Truth springs up from the earth,
and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.
Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
13 Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
preparing the way for his steps.
NOW, OUR PART in God’s restoration…
Come to God with thanksgiving and praise, remembering what He has done in the past, is doing and will do in our lives. When we turn back to God, repent, and confess our sins, He turns back to us and restores us.
Ask God for renewed life (vv. 4-7). It is one thing for the nation collectively to have a new birth of freedom, but there must also be changes in individuals. It has well been said that a change in geography will never overcome a flaw in character. The return of the people to the land was no guarantee that all of them had returned to the Lord. Not only were they concerned that God’s chastening would end in their own lives, but they also did not want it to be passed on to their children and grandchildren. The word revive simply means “to live again, to be renewed in life.” New life is not something that we manufacture ourselves; new life can come only from the Holy Spirit of God.
Listen for God’s Message to you (vv. 8-13). “I will hear” suggests that the worship leader or a prophet stepped forward and said, in effect, “Now it is time to be silent before God and listen for His message to us for this hour.” In verses 10-13, the Lord announced future blessings that He would send if His people continued to walk with Him. Righteousness and peace–attributes of God–are personified and would “kiss” each other, for the warfare would be over.
Surely there is a glimpse here of the person and work of Jesus Christ, for only in Him can mercy and truth become friends, for if you tell the truth, you may not receive mercy! But the blessing changes the people, for truth springs up from the earth! God’s people are faithful and walk in the truth.
The psalmist described a world of holiness and harmony, a picture of the coming kingdom over which Christ shall reign.God’s will shall be done on earth just as it is now done in heaven.
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).
In Jesus Name, Amen