Opening Prayer

Father, what good thing do I have that has not come from you? Thank you for your faithful and loving care.

Read PSALM 85

Psalm 85[a]

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

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.[b]
You set aside all your wrath
    and turned from your fierce anger.

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?
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.
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.


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

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.’1 Contemplate his blessings!

Think Further

How much do you like living with tension? Sometimes tension is good—after all, a tug of war can only work if the rope is in tension. Nevertheless, tension is not necessarily comfortable to live with. The writer of this psalm recognizes a tension that the Israelites were living within, and it is a tension that has not gone away even though we are people who live this side of the cross.

The psalmist begins by recognizing how God restored his people after a period of distress caused by the Lord’s anger but brought to an end because of the Lord’s forgiveness (vv. 1–3). Nevertheless, the people still need restoration and forgiveness (vv. 4–6). There is a tension between the past and the present. The remedy for this tension is found in God’s promises and in the willingness to listen to God (v. 8). Only God can resolve the tension. Only he can bring shalom and his faithful covenantal love to his people (vv. 10, 11). He will do what is necessary to maintain that relationship, so the psalmist can look forward to when God will restore the people and the land (v. 12).

Do you recognize the tension we live with? We look back to Christ’s death and the forgiveness and restoration we have received from him. The problem is that, like the Israelites in this psalm, we are still people who need forgiveness and restoration. The resolution of that tension is, as the psalmist says, to listen to God and to receive his promises. He is the same covenant-keeping God who has done all that is necessary. The cross is the place where God’s love, faithfulness, and righteousness meet so that we can know his shalom. We are continually forgiven and restored!


What things has God done to restore your relationship with him, expressing his love, faithfulness, and righteousness, meeting you on a daily basis?

Closing prayer

Holy Spirit, thank you for drawing me into faith in Jesus, and for affirming his faithful love, care, and forgiveness that is mine each day.

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by kingstar

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