Psalms 85

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1 [a]You, LORD, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.[b]
3 You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him and prepares 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

Cross References 21

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 30:3; Psalms 14:7; Jeremiah 30:18; Ezekiel 39:25
  • 2. S Numbers 14:19
  • 3. S Exodus 32:30; S Psalms 78:38
  • 4. Psalms 106:23; Daniel 9:16
  • 5. Exodus 32:12; Deuteronomy 13:17; Psalms 78:38; John 3:9
  • 6. S Psalms 71:20; Psalms 80:3,7
  • 7. S Psalms 65:5
  • 8. S Psalms 50:21; Psalms 79:5
  • 9. S Psalms 80:18; Habakkuk 3:2
  • 10. Philippians 3:1
  • 11. S Psalms 6:4
  • 12. Psalms 27:1
  • 13. S Leviticus 26:6; S Isaiah 60:17; S John 14:27; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Zechariah 9:10
  • 14. Proverbs 26:11; Proverbs 27:22
  • 15. Psalms 27:1; Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:8; Isaiah 46:13; Isaiah 51:5; Isaiah 56:1; Isaiah 62:11
  • 16. S Exodus 29:43; Isaiah 60:19; Haggai 2:9; Zechariah 2:5
  • 17. Psalms 89:14; Psalms 115:1; Proverbs 3:3
  • 18. Psalms 72:2-3; Isaiah 32:17
  • 19. Isaiah 45:8
  • 20. Psalms 84:11; James 1:17
  • 21. Leviticus 26:4; S Psalms 67:6; Zechariah 8:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 85:1-13 is numbered 85:2-14.
  • [b]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 85 Commentaries