Psalm 85

Read: Psalm 85:1 – 3; Genesis 3:7 – 10; Isaiah 30:1; Ephesians 2:1 – 3

The first three verses of Psalm 85 present a desired state of being: God being favorable to His land; God bringing back the captivity of Jacob; God forgiving iniquity and covering sin; God taking away His wrath, turning from the fierceness of His anger towards sin.

Think About It: What is desirable about having sin covered? What is the wrong way to cover sin? What is the right way for sin to be covered? With whom is God angry, and why?

Prayer: Praise God that my sins are covered by the blood of Christ.


Read: Psalm 85:1; John 8:34; Proverbs 5:22; Acts 8:23; Romans 6:12 – 16

Psalm 85 is not a psalm of the exile; the captivity of Jacob referred to in the psalm was spiritual, not physical.  The term “Jacob” when used in the corporate sense refers to all of Israel. The “captivity of Jacob” is slavery of God’s people to sin.

Think About It: What does Jesus say about those who commit sin? Who can set me free from bondage to sin?

Prayer: Thank God for freedom from the bonds of sin through Jesus Christ.


Read: Psalm 85:4 – 7; Acts 3:26, 5:31,  11:18; Jeremiah 31:18 – 19

Verses 4 – 7 of Psalm 85 ask of God what is needed for spiritual revival. First,  people need to be turned by God– repentance. Second, God’s anger must cease. Third, God must send revival. Fourth, God must show mercy.

Think About It: There are those who argue against the preaching of repentance as part of the Gospel, because they view repentance as a human work, and salvation is not by works, but by grace alone through faith alone. What do the scripture passages for today indicate about the source of repentance? Is it a human work? Whose work is it? Would I have repented without God’s work in my heart?

Prayer: Thank God for granting to me the grace of repentance.


Read: Psalm 85:6; Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:4; John 3:14 – 17; 36

In Psalm 85:6 the psalmist prays to God for revival. The Hebrew for revival means to be quickened from sickness; from discouragement; from faintness; from death.

Think About It: What is the cause of spiritual sickness, discouragement, faintness, and death? Where do I need God’s reviving touch in my life?

Prayer: Revive me again!


Read: Psalm 85:8 – 9; Hebrews 12:25 – 29; Proverbs 8:33; Zechariah 9:10; Luke 2:14

Verses 8 – 9 of Psalm 85 describe how God’s people must respond to God’s action in order to experience revival. First, they must hear what God speaks. (He will speak peace.) Second, they must not turn again to folly– they must continue in the repentance that God grants. Third, they must fear God.

Think About It: How does God “speak peace” to His people? What will happen to those who refuse to hear what God has to say?  Am I continuing in the repentance that God granted to me?

Prayer: Lord, help me to hear You and obey You.


Read: Psalm 85:10 – 13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 45:24 – 25; 53:4 – 6; Romans 5:1

Verses 10 – 13 of Psalm 85 describe how God’s grace works in revival. Verse 10 is especially meaningful: in revival, mercy and truth meet, and righteousness (justice) and peace kiss.  Jesus Christ embodies the combination of these terms; His redemptive work on the cross made it possible for mercy and truth to meet, for righteousness and peace to link up.

Think About It: Where would I be, in relation to God, if all that He poured out on me were truth and justice? What is the truth about me? What do I deserve from God in terms of absolute justice?  How is it possible for me to have peace with God?

Prayer: Thank God that in Jesus truth and righteousness are combined with mercy and peace.


Read: Psalm 85:11- 13; Romans 3:4; Exodus 15:7; 22:24; Hosea 4:1; Zechariah 8:8

When God’s grace works in revival, “truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” This is in stark contrast to the pre-revival condition, in which the earth is full of liars, and the only thing it can expect from God is an outpouring of His wrath in judgment.  The imputed righteousness of Christ creates new people with new hearts whose lives produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22 – 23).

Think About It: What does Psalm 85:13 suggest that “truth springing out of the earth” should look like in terms of my behavior?  How do I know what “His steps” are?

Prayer: Praise God for the promised harvest of truth; may it be evident in my life.