Psalm 85

1650 psalter

The bringing back of Israel’s captivity expected by the righteous

Whilst there are no specific references to the Messiah, such is the language used that it portrays His advent in the affairs of His people.

There is the remembrance of God’s former mercies, and the Psalmist prays for the same power and grace to turn his people back to God. He questions the Lord as to His present dealings, and wants the divine influences to revive the church and bring the people to rejoice. This would be brought about by truth springing out of the earth, which signifies Christ’s incarnation and coming as a root out of the dry ground. Righteousness would not only look down from Heaven, but would come down in the Lord our Righteousness. Righteousness would go before His face, and both mercy and truth are met in Christ. Salvation was near through Him.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Contemplation


Psalm 85

¹O LORD, thou hast been fav’rable
To thy beloved land:
Jacob’s captivity thou hast
Recall’d with mighty hand.

²Thou pardoned thy people hast
All their iniquities;
Thou all their trespasses and sins
Hast cover’d from thine eyes.

³Thou took’st off all thine ire, and turn’dst
From thy wrath’s furiousness.
⁴Turn us, God of our health, and cause
Thy wrath ‘gainst us to cease.

⁵Shall thy displeasure thus endure
Against us without end?
Wilt thou to generations all
Thine anger forth extend?

⁶That in thee may thy people joy,
Wilt thou not us revive?
⁷Show us thy mercy, LORD, to us
Do thy salvation give.

⁸I’ll hear what God the LORD will speak:
To his folk he’ll speak peace,
And to his saints; but let them not
Return to foolishness.

⁹To them that fear him surely near
Is his salvation;
That glory in our land may have
Her habitation.

¹⁰Truth met with mercy, righteousness
And peace kiss’d mutually:
¹¹Truth springs from earth, and righteousness
Looks down from heaven high.

¹²Yea, what is good the LORD shall give;
Our land shall yield increase:
¹³Justice, to set us in his steps,
Shall go before his face.