Psalm 85 Commentary
The first 3 verses boast about the favor of the LORD on the land. The fortunes of the nation were restored. There was forgiveness of sin.
Verse 4 paints the picture of a nation in need of restoration again. Israel must have gone back to her sins. We are very familiar with this cycle. Then the psalmist petitions the LORD for a fresh restart but then he must hear from the LORD concerning his requests.
The LORD answers by promising peace. But there is a catch. Let not the people turn to folly. An appropriate replacement for the word folly would be foolishness. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” We can rely on this scripture and understand that the LORD is calling His people to stay away from idolatry. There is only one Creator God, sovereign and immortal.
In several countries, you are obliged to hang the portrait of the head of state in your office. In Zambia, the requirement is that the portrait must hang significantly above all the other portraits and signage. The absence of this portrait means you have dethroned the president. A different portrait means you have installed your own president. There is no neutral ground. The LORD calls out foolishness. Then restoration is possible.
Revival without holiness is impossible.
Peace is an important gift that the LORD promises His people. Peace isn’t like an atmospheric condition you feel but it is a fruit you generate from within. It comes from the Holy Spirit within the saint’s life. We cannot seek peace by merely eliminating conflicts, enemies, quarrels, and wars. We cannot attain it by guns, money, status, intelligence, or wisdom. It is a gift from the LORD. It is packaged with holiness.
“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Verse 10 explains it all.
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