The Restoration of Israel
The Restoration of Israel
Psalm 85. This Psalm of the sons of Korah give us the prophetic fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, as Psalm 84 was of the Feast of Trumpets, and Psalm 87 is of the Feast of Tabernacles. Psalm 85 is connected with Psalm 88, and it deals with the restoration of Israel. In this Psalm, we see how Israel will be restored to Jehovah spiritually and nationally. The means of their restoration will be them brought into the good of the work of the cross.
To the chief Musician. Of the sons of Korah. A Psalm.
1 Thou hast been favourable, Jehovah, unto thy land; thou hast turned the captivity of Jacob:
2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people; thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
3 Thou hast withdrawn all thy wrath; thou hast turned from the fierceness of thine anger.
vv.1-3 Introduction. As in other Psalms, the opening verses give us the theme or outcome of the Psalm, followed by the exercises of the people in getting to that outcome. Here the outcome is the restoration of Israel, both nationally and spiritually to the Lord. There is a special focus in this Psalm on the spiritual side of restoration. Israel is brought back into their land, their iniquity is forgiven, and God’s wrath is turned away from them.
4 Bring us back, O God of our salvation, and cause thine indignation toward us to cease.
5 Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger from generation to generation?
6 Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?
7 Shew us thy loving-kindness, O Jehovah, and grant us thy salvation.
vv.4-7 A Cry for Salvation and Revivification. We now go back to the exercises of the remnant leading up to their restoration. First, there is a cry of return and a cry for mercy; “Bring us back, O God of our salvation, and cause thine indignation toward us to cease”. Then, in the language of faith, they beseech God to withdraw His anger, and revive Israel, so that they may rejoice in Him, with the issue of their guilt removed. They are confident in the loving-kindness of Jehovah, although not yet in the possession of it for their salvation.
8 I will hear what GOD, Jehovah, will speak; for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his godly ones: but let them not turn again to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Loving-kindness and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other:
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from the heavens.
12 Jehovah also will give what is good, and our land shall yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him, and shall set his footsteps on the way.
vv.8-13 The Foundation and Results of Restoration. The remnant are cast on Jehovah, to hear what He will speak. The answer comes; “he will speak peace unto his people, and to his godly ones: but let them not turn again to folly”. The result of Israel’s restoration to the Lord is that glory will dwell in their land. Then v.10 really brings out the righteousness of God seen at the cross, but applied to the national restoration of Israel. It is the moral foundation of blessing; “Loving-kindness and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other”. Where did these things meet? Only at the cross, where God’s loving-kindness provided a sacrifice that satisfied His truth, and peace was made according to (not at the expense of) His righteousness. If Israel is to be restored and brought into blessing, it is on the ground of mercy, not their own faithfulness (Rom. 11:32). The results flow out in blessing to Israel on the earth (vv.11-12). All of Jehovah’s ways are characterized by righteousness!