Psalms 85

Restoration of Favor


For the choir director. A psalm of the sons of Korah.

1 Lord, You showed favor to Your land;[a] You restored Jacob's prosperity.[b] [c]
2 You took away Your people's guilt; You covered all their sin.[d] Selah
3 You withdrew all Your fury; You turned from Your burning anger.[e]
4 Return to us, God of our salvation,[f] and abandon Your displeasure with us.
5 Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger for all generations?[g]
6 Will You not revive us again[h] so that Your people may rejoice in You?[i]
7 Show us Your faithful love, Lord, and give us Your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God will say; surely the Lord will declare peace[j] to His people, His godly ones, and not let them go back to foolish ways.
9 His salvation is very near those who fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Faithful love and truth[k] will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace.
11 Truth will spring up from the earth,[l] and righteousness will look down from heaven.
12 Also, the Lord will provide what is good, and our land will yield its crops.[m]
13 Righteousness will go before Him to prepare the way for His steps.

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Psalms 85 Commentary

Chapter 85

Prayers for the continuance of former mercies. (1-7) Trust in God's goodness. (8-13)

Verses 1-7 The sense of present afflictions should not do away the remembrance of former mercies. The favour of God is the fountain of happiness to nations, as well as to particular persons. When God forgives sin, he covers it; and when he covers the sin of his people, he covers it all. See what the pardon of sin is. In compassion to us, when Christ our Intercessor has stood before thee, thou hast turned away thine anger. When we are reconciled to God, then, and not till then, we may expect the comfort of his being reconciled to us. He shows mercy to those to whom he grants salvation; for salvation is of mere mercy. The Lord's people may expect sharp and tedious afflictions when they commit sin; but when they return to him with humble prayer, he will make them again to rejoice in him.

Verses 8-13 Sooner or later, God will speak peace to his people. If he do not command outward peace, yet he will suggest inward peace; speaking to their hearts by his Spirit. Peace is spoken only to those who turn from sin. All sin is folly, especially backsliding; it is the greatest folly to return to sin. Surely God's salvation is nigh, whatever our difficulties and distresses are. Also, his honour is secured, that glory may dwell in our land. And the truth of the promises is shown by the Divine mercy in sending the Redeemer. The Divine justice is now satisfied by the great atonement. Christ, the way, truth, and life, sprang out of the earth when he took our nature upon him, and Divine justice looked upon him well pleased and satisfied. For his sake all good things, especially his Holy Spirit, are given to those who ask him. Through Christ, the pardoned sinner becomes fruitful in good works, and by looking to and trusting in the Saviour's righteousness, finds his feet set in the way of his steps. Righteousness is a sure guide, both in meeting God, and in following him

Footnotes 14

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. This psalm is generally thought to have been composed after the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon; and yet when they were in some distress from their neighbours, either in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah, or in the times of Antiochus; but then this deliverance from captivity must be considered as typical of redemption by Christ; for as the title of the Syriac version is, "it is a prophecy concerning Christ;" it speaks of his dwelling in the land, of his salvation being near, and of the glory of the divine perfections as displayed in it; and perhaps some parts of it may respect the conversion of the Jews in the latter day; and Aben Ezra and Kimchi say, it is concerning the captivity of Babylon, yet also of their present captivity.

Psalms 85 Commentaries

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