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Psalm 85 — Revival

Andy Yung

Psalm 85:1-13 NIV

Vs. 1-3

You, Lord, showed favor to Your land; You restored the fortunes of Jacob.

You forgave the iniquity of Your people and covered all their sins.

You set aside all Your wrath and turned from Your fierce anger.

This psalm is written by the sons (descendants) of Korah, and called God for a spiritual revival.

It starts with firm conviction that God desires to prosper and forgive us. This should be how we start our prayers too, with strong confidence in God’s love for us.

The psalm reminded the Israelites of the many occasions that God showed favour to them, rescuing them from their enemies and restoring their fortunes. Do we remember what God has done for us? God set aside His wrath and forgave us because Jesus covered all our sins. If we start our prayer remembering that Jesus has saved us, revival is near us.

Vs. 4-6

Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away Your displeasure toward us.

Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger through all generations?

Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?

We need to recognise that spiritual restoration is only possible if God restores us; it cannot be done through human efforts. The Psalmists prayed for the spiritual restoration of their generation and future generations so that God’s people might rejoice in God again.

Pray and ask God to put away His displeasure towards us as we put away our sins and turn to God — that is revival and true repentance.

When the Psalmists asked in prayer, “Will You prolong Your anger through all generations?”, it gives us insights into the prolonged period of discouragement that Israel was going through. We should never give up asking God to revive us no matter how long we are struggling with our problems. God will revive us for sure.

How do we pray for our people and our church, including our leaders? Do we pray with anger towards the people we dislike or do we ask God to restore their faith? The Psalmists prayed that God will revive them again so that they may rejoice in God.

Throughout Israel’s history, God’s spirit came upon judges and prophets whom He raised to rescue His people. Revival comes with the help of the Spirit of God. We have the same Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

Vs. 7-8

Show us Your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us Your salvation.

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.

The psalm calls us to listen to what God says. He promises peace to His people and His servants (leaders) as long they do not turn to folly. Do we pray for our church and our leaders?

This is a psalm of revival. Real revival does not come through a coup or division, but through prayer to God. Do we ask God for peace for our people?

Vs. 9-13

Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.

The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.

Righteousness goes before Him and prepares the way for His steps.

In the Old Testament, ‘salvation’ meant God’s deliverance of His people from foreign enemies. But the Psalmists pointed to their people that there could only be salvation if they feared God. This applies to us today too, with the many uncertainties we face around the world. Our fear of God is necessary for us to see salvation and deliverance from our problems.

“Love and faithfulness meet together” — God loves us and is faithful to us. He will not give up on us. Do we have love and faithfulness to God and one another? Being faithful is a test of our character as it requires perseverance. It is easy to love but hard to remain faithful. God has shown His love and faithfulness to us, and we can learn from His example.

“Righteousness and peace kiss each other” — It is hard for righteousness and peace to meet, but yet it is possible in God. His righteousness is above ours, yet He seeks to have peace with us. God desires to make peace with others too, so we must help people to know the God of peace. Jesus set the perfect example; his death on the cross brought peace to us, the unrighteous.

“Righteousness goes before Him and prepares the way for His steps” — How do we prepare for our future? We can have faith that God has prepared our future according to His righteousness. Does righteousness go before us as we plan our own steps?

“The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest” — God will revive us and our circumstances.

Andy Yung

Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit. Andy joined the Central Christian Church in 1990.

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