NLT Study Bible Blog.
Psalm 85 (Mosaic, Advent 2)
Psalm 85 is a remarkable prayer of faith, especially considering the situation in which it was written. The community of God's people has experienced blessings in the past, but now is experiencing hardship. So the psalmist prays that the "God of our salvation" will "put aside your anger against us once more" and "restore us again" (Ps. 85:4). What is remarkable about the prayer is the faith that the psalmist places in the Lord to act on their behalf: "Suring his salvation is near to those who fear him, / so our land will be filled with glory" (v. 9).

Each of us is in a similar place to the psalmist of Ps 85: Each of us has experienced many blessings in the past, and we owe God thanks and praise. Each of us, too, experiences hardship in various ways, all because we live in a world that awaits the full revelation of God's presence when Jesus Christ returns. So, each of us must choose: Are we going to be despondent about the situations of our lives? Are we going to be angry at God? Those responses are common. Or are we going to trust in God to rescue, forgive, restore, and bless?

A hope-filled response of trust in God is the too-rare response, but it is the most justified response, because God's character never changes, his abilities are unhampered, and he has promised to restore his people and his land "Truth springs up from the earth, / and righteousness smiles down from heaven. / Yes, the LORD pours down his blessings. / Our land will yield its bountiful harvest." (Ps. 85:11-12).

So, with the psalmist, let us respond in hope: "I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, / for he speaks peace to his faithful people. / But let them not return to their foolish ways. / Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, / so our land will be filled with his glory" (vv. 8-9).

Almighty God,
give us such a vision of your purpose
and such an assurance of your love and power,
that we may ever hold fast the hope
which is in Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
(Bosco Peters; Devotions for Advent, p. 17)

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posted by Sean Harrison at 9:17 AM

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