Psalm 85 is a psalm of starting over. The Israelites had returned to Jerusalem after the 70-year Babylonian captivity.
Lord, You showed favor to Your land; You restored the captivity of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin (vv. 1-2, NASB1995).
A Scottish preacher is quoted in a commentary that I read about Psalm 85…
The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings,” and he is right. It is a sin to disobey God and fall, but it is also a sin to stay fallen. We must always make a new beginning, and this psalm gives us some instructions that we can follow after times of failure and chastening.
I love the phrase, “It is a sin to disobey God and fall, but it is also a sin to stay fallen.”
The Israelites, by God’s grace and mercy, had been given a second chance. What can you learn from this psalm about the second, third, fourth, and seventy-times seven chances that God gives you?
First: Thank God for forgiving you. Don’t blame God for the difficulties caused by your own decisions. Own your sin and accept God’s forgiveness. Without confession and repentance, there won’t be a second chance.
Second: Look for your restoration. God doesn’t hold your previous choices against you, and He still has a plan for your actions and attitudes in serving Him. Ask for wisdom in seeking the “new thing” that God wants for you.
Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your indignation toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? (vv. 4-6)
Third: Quietly listen. Your previous failures might have been caused by a desire for immediate pleasure or an unwise rush to action. Listen to the Psalmist…
I will hear what God the Lord will say, for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones (v. 8).
Perhaps God allowed your stumbling and brought restoration to you – for one reason…
That you would start listening to Him.
You know you are following Jesus when He gives you peace. Before you began listening to God, you could not find peace even when trying to be quiet. After hearing God, you find peace in storms!
Do not turn back to the folly of your previous thoughts, ways, and relationships (v. 8, OGV).
After the Babylonian captivity, the Israelites never worshipped idols again. Yes, they did stumble in other areas – but they learned and fully repented from the devastation in their land caused by idol worship.
What are your idols?
Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the Lord will give what is good (vv. 10-12).
One of great promises of the Bible is given in the last verse – those who walk in righteousness will discover the footsteps of Jesus (v. 13).
In the end times, I want to walk in His footsteps.