Genuine Piety
Psalm 85:1-13
Lord, you have been favorable to your land: you have brought back the captivity of Jacob.…

This psalm present to us genuine piety in three aspects.


1. Restoration to their country. "Thou hast brought back," etc. He brought them from Egypt and from Babylon.

2. Absolution of their sins. "Thou hast forgiven," etc. When sin is forgiven it is "covered"; it does not reappear any more in producing suffering and anguish. Its guilt and power (not its memory) are crushed.

3. The cessation of penal afflictions. "Thou hast turned thyself," etc. Genuine piety can recount such blessings in the past as these, and even of a higher order. "The presence of present afflictions should not drown the remembrance of former mercies."


1. The sense of estrangement from God. "Turn us, O God of our salvation." Departure from God is our ruin, return is our salvation. The separation between man and his Maker arises, not from His turning from man, but from the turning of man from Him.

2. The sense of the displeasure of their Maker. "Wilt Thou be angry with us for ever?" This really means, Wilt Thou afflict us for ever; shall we be ever in suffering? God's anger is not passion, but antagonism to wrong.

3. The sense of deadness. "Wilt Thou not revive us again?" etc. They had been politically dead (Ezekiel 27.), and they were religiously dead. Such are some of the evils they deprecate in this psalm; and for their removal they now implore their God.

III. ANTICIPATING THE GOOD OF THE FUTURE. "I will hear what God the Lord will speak." Piety here fastens its eye on several blessings in the future.

1. Divine peace. "He will speak peace unto His people." He will one day speak "peace" — national, religious, spiritual, peace to all mankind.

2. Moral unity. "Mercy and truth are met together," etc. These moral forces, ever since the introduction of sin, have been working, not only separately, but antagonistically; and this has been one of the great sources of human misery; but in the future they will coalesce, unite.

3. Spiritual prosperity. "Truth shall spring out of the earth," etc. From the hearts of men truth shall spring as from its native soil, and it shall grow in stately beauty and affluent fruitage. And "righteousness shall look down from heaven," delighted with the scene.


Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.} LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.

WEB: Yahweh, you have been favorable to your land. You have restored the fortunes of Jacob.

A Psalm of Deliverance; Songs and Sighs
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