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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 85

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-13

Psalms 85

The Prayer of A Patriot

Scripture v. 1-13:

This Is a patriotic psalm of the sons of Korah whose first interest was in their country and their God.

Verses 1-3 describe six things God had done for Israel in bringing her out of captivity abroad, back to her homeland, as follows:

Verse 1 declares:

1. a) "Lord thou hast been favorable to thy land," or well pleased toward your land, Psalms 77:7.

2. b) "Thou hast turned again or reversed the captivity of Jacob," a faith-vision of God’s sure promises to preserve, never desert His people, as certified Psalms 14:7; Jeremiah 30:18; Jeremiah 31:23; Ezekiel 39:25; John 3:1; See too Psalms 80:3; Psalms 80:7; Psalms 80:19.

Verse 2 continues:

3. a) "Thou hast forgiven (pardoned) the iniquity of thy people," Isaiah 55:7.

4. b) "Thou hast covered (Heb kaphar) atoned for, all their sin, Selah." Meditate upon, digest, or find soul nourishment in this; This indicates reconciliation effected thru the blood-offering of the redeemer, from all iniquity, Psalms 32:1; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Titus 2:13; Hosea 10:8; Revelation 6:16.

Verse 3 adds:

5. a) "Thou hast taken away (turned or borne away) all thy wrath," as signified Exodus 32:12; 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 3:18.

6. b) "Thou has turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger," from waxing hot in judgment, to utterly destroy Israel, or the people of God, La 3:22; Psalms 37:23; 1 Corinthians 11:31-34.

Verse 4 appeals "turn us, O God of our salvation," (our deliverance) of the past, our hope of present and future deliverance from the presence and power of sin and judgment, as described 2 Corinthians 1:10, "and cause thine anger to cease," in chastening and judgment upon us;" So intense is the faith appeal that the Hebrew language indicates it as having already been done, so faithful is God in and to His covenant and promises to His people, Proverbs 3:3-5; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 5 laments "wilt thou be angry with -us forever?" with no end, with the refrain, "wilt thou draw out (stretch out, extend, or expand) thine anger to all generations?" For, ordinarily His "anger endureth but a moment," Exodus 34:6-7; Psalms 30:5; Psalms 7:10-13; 1 John 1:8-9.

Verses 6, 7 appeal "wilt thou not revive (turn us and revive us) again," as in former days, "that thy people may rejoice in thee." His turn in favor toward them, and their and their rejoicing again in Him, Psalms 71:20; Psalms 80:18; Deuteronomy 32:39; Hosea 6:2. The appeal continues, "show us thy mercy, O Lord ... and grant us thy salvation," or liberation, that rejoicing might break forth again in all Israel, Psalms 126:5-6; Philippians 4:4; See too that such is a fruit of salvation, Acts 2:46; Acts 8:39; Acts 16:34; Galatians 5:22; Romans 5:11. True joy is a resource of strength, Nehemiah 8:10.

Verse 8 adds, "I will hear (heed or obey) what the Lord Jehovah will speak," an ideal for every person who has ears to hear Luke 14:35. "For he (the Jehovah-Lord, the covenant God) will speak peace unto His people, and (or even) to His saints," the true people of Israel, those who confessed and followed Him in an obedient, spiritual walk-and-worship manner, as pledged Psalms 29:11; Isaiah 57:19; Zechariah 9:10; John 4:27. It is added, "but let them not turn again to folly," 2 Peter 2:20. For such will surely, justly "be beaten with many stripes," chastened justly, Luke 12:47.

Verse 9 declares that "Surely (without fail) his salvation is nigh those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land," national blessings come from God for a walk of obedience, to such as reflect faith in and obedience to the Messiah-deliverer, to those who reflect His glory, John 1:14; Zechariah 2:5; Luke 2:32; Ezekiel 43:7. May that glory be revealed thru His own, Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 10 declares "mercy and truth are met together (or embraced with affinity); Righteousness and peace have kissed each other," as reconciliation is made between the offended God and the returning offender, with Jesus Christ as the mediator-redeemer. What a reunion! What a happy day! as heaven’s inhabitants rejoice, Luke 15:7; Luke 15:10; Luke 15:23; Luke 15:32. See also Psalms 72:3; Micah 7:20; John 1:17; Isaiah 32:17; Luke 2:14; Isaiah 45:24-25.

Verse 11 prophesies "truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven," in that day of the certain restitution of all things to God, from their fallen state; It was revealed in Christ as He first came, and it will be ultimately comprehended by all the earth when He comes again, in triumph, power, and great regal glory, as certified Isaiah 45:8; Psalms 72:3; Acts 3:20-23; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21.

Verse 12 adds "the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land (Israel’s of promise) shall yield her increase," with the curse removed, blooming again, filled with milk and honey, James 1:17; Psalms 67:6.

Verse 13 concludes that "righteousness shall go before Him, and shall set us (put or place us) in the way of His steps;" Blessed steps and ways, in ’the way, "John 14:6. See also Isaiah 11:3-5.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 85". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/psalms-85.html. 1985.
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