Psalms 85

Listen to Psalms 85
1 LORD, you poured out blessings on your land! You restored the fortunes of Israel.
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.

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 1

  • [a]. Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 44:4 .

Chapter Summary

Psalms 85 Commentaries