Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Revive Us Again!

He has. He can. He will. Psalm 85

Psalms of the Sons of Korah: Introduction (6)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 85.4-6
Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your anger toward us to cease.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
Will You not revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?

Psalm 85.4-6
(Lyons: O Worship the King)
Restore us, O God, renew us in peace, and cause all Your wrath against us to cease.
Will You evermore all Your wrath to us show? Revive us that we may Your joy again know.

Read Psalm 85

Preparation
1. What was the state of God’s people in this psalm?

2. What were the psalmists seeking?

Meditation
All the psalms by the sons of Korah, like all the other psalms, seek a fuller measure of God’s great salvation. God’s people long to be with Him. They prepare well to appear before Him, and they long to see more of His greatness. Since we are His dwelling place, we should expect more of His Presence, promise, and power to be evident in us (Heb. 11.1). And the sons of Korah teach us both how to think about such revival and how to pray about it, too.

To be revived is to know the help of God in our times of need (Pss. 42.5, 8; 44.25, 26). We sense His returning to us to renew us in His grace, show us more of His beauty, and fit us for service in His Kingdom (Pss. 45, 47, 48). As we are revived, we rejoice in the Lord and praise Him for His goodness to us (Pss. 44.8; 45.1, 2; 87). We know the strength of the Lord flowing through us again, and we are ready to serve Him according to His will (Pss. 46, 85).

The result of being revived is that His people work to extend the Kingdom of God to the nations and generations of the earth (Pss. 45, 36, 48) so that the praises of God extend far beyond us into every corner of creation (Ps. 48.10), bringing mercy, peace, righteousness, and prosperity to the world, according to the promises of God (Ps. 85.8-13).

God’s great salvation is always near to us, always ready to be in, for, and through us more than we have ever dared to ask or think (Ps. 85.9; Eph. 3.20). In their contribution to the psalter, the sons of Korah will encourage and guide us in seeking revival, renewal, and awakening by the grace of God.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The Matthew Henry quote in today’s study clearly states what needs to happen in our hearts to experience a true need for revival: “When God forgives sin, He covers it…”

And why does it need to be covered? Because, frankly, it is awful. It is akin to God’s hygienic instruction to the children of Israel: “Also you shall have a place outside the camp, where you may go out; and you shall have an implement among your equipment, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and turn and cover your refuse” (Deut. 23.12, 13). That is the quality of our sin. Refuse in dire need of covering.

Only when we understand who we are, and the need we have, can we truly seek real repentance and revival. Only then can we understand the great gift of cleansing salvation that God offers through Jesus Christ. Only then will we be able to barely comprehend His forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

Oh Lord, do revive us again! Let us bask in Your promises and rejoice in Your coverage of our sins:
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps. 32.1).
“You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin” (Ps. 85.2).
“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge…” (Ps. 91.4).

Now we can confidently agree with John that: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” However, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I Jn. 1.8, 9).

Ready for revival. First, our own. Then the church. Onward to the world!

Reflection
1. What do you understand by the term “revival”? How do the sons of Korah seem to have meant it?

2. Why are confession and repentance from sin essential to revival of any kind?

3. When revival comes to us and our churches, what should we expect? What forms does revival take?

The favor of God is the fountain of happiness to nations, as well as to particular persons. When God forgives sin, he covers it; and when he covers the sin of his people, he covers it all. See what the pardon of sin is. In compassion to us, when Christ our Intercessor has stood before thee, thou hast turned away thine anger. When we are reconciled to God, then, and not till then, we may expect the comfort of his being reconciled to us. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 85.1-7

Closing Prayer: Psalm 85.1-3, 7-13
Call on the Lord to forgive our sins, revive His Church, and bring a great awakening to the world.

Psalm 85.1-3, 7-13
(Lyons: O Worship the King)
O Lord, You Your favor showed to Your land; Your people You saved by Your mighty hand.
Their sins You forgave, all Your wrath You withdrew; You turned back the anger which to them was due.

Lord, show us Your love; restore us, we pray! And help us to hear the words that You say.
Speak peace to Your people; in truth let us stand. We fear You; let glory and grace fill our land.

In Jesus God’s grace and truth are combined; both goodness and peace in Him do we find.
Truth springs from the earth as He walks in our midst, and righteousness flows from the heav’ns as a gift.

The Lord by His grace will give what is good; our land will produce abundance of food.
And righteousness will go before the Lord’s face, and make of His footsteps a way in this place.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s study by clicking here.

See Jesus
Jesus is as much of God as we will ever see. Our 28-day devotional guide, Be Thou My Vision, uses excerpts from Scripture and the writers of the Celtic Revival (ca. 430-800 AD) to flesh out our vision of the greatness of God. Order your free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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