Psalm 85:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath. Having removed the sin, the anger is removed also. How often did the longsuffering of God take away from Israel the punishments which had been justly laid upon them! How often also has the Lord's chastising hand been removed from us when our waywardness called for heavier strokes!

Thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Even when judgments had been most severe, the Lord had in mercy stayed his hand. In mid volley he had restrained his thunder. When ready to destroy, he had averted his face from his purpose of judgment and allowed mercy to interpose. The book of Judges is full of illustrations of this, and the psalmist does well to quote them while he interceded. Is not our experience equally studded with instances in which judgment has been stayed and tenderness has ruled? What a difference between the fierce anger which is feared and deprecated here, and the speaking of peace which is foretold in verse 8. There are many changes in Christian experience, and therefore we must not despair when we are undergoing the drearier portion of the spiritual life, for soon, very soon, it may be transformed into gladness.

"The Lord can clear the darkest skies,

Can give us day for night.

Make drops of sacred sorrow rise

To rivers of delight."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath. Or gathered it; sin occasions wrath, and the people of God are as deserving of it as others; but the Lord has gathered it up, and poured it forth upon his Son, and their Surety; hence nothing of this kind shall ever fall upon them, either here or hereafter; and it is taken away from them, so as to have no sense, apprehension, or conscience of it, which before the law had wrought in them, when pardon is applied unto them, which is what is here meant. John Gill.

Verse 3. Thou hast turned thyself. Here are six hasts drawing in the next turn, Psalms 85:4 . God hath, and therefore God will is a strong medium of hope, if not a demonstration of Scripture logic. See 2 Corinthians 1:10 . John Trapp.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 3.

  1. The language of penitence. It is implied here that
    the wrath was,

    1. Great:

    2. Just thy wrath.
  1. The language of faith.

    1. In the grace of pardon: Thou hast turned away

      wrath. We could not, by anything we could do or

      suffer.

    2. In the method of pardon: Turned away. Turned

      it from us to our Surety.
  • The language of praise: Thou hast -- thou hast.