Psalm 85 gives us a beautiful picture of salvation but also raises the possibility of backsliding, or leaving our first love, with a alert towards steadfastness, and concludes with a glorious prophetic portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ.
First the vive (1-3): God saves his people by forgiving and covering all their sin and satisfying his wrath and anger towards them. We know the fullness of this truth in the work of our Savior on the cross. God has initiated his saving grace toward us.
Then the revive (4-7): We have learned from the history of the OT and hear in these words that God’s people have obviously been disobedient to him and are in need of restoration, as David said, to the joy of their salvation (Psalm 51:12). The Psalmists cry out to God for revival and spiritual awakening.
Followed by a caution (8-9): The people are warned not to “turn back to folly.” Don’t leave your first love in the words of Revelation 2:4. Hear God, fear him, “that glory may dwell in our land.”
Finally, a portrait (10-13): Read these verse 10 with Jesus in mind. Where have “steadfast love and faithfulness” met? Where have “righteousness and peace” kissed each other? In Jesus Christ. Truly righteousness has gone before him. Truly these blessings come to those who are in him.
Prayer: Father, thank you that you have sent your Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. The beauty of his person and his saving acts draws us to him as recipients of your grace and the gift of faith. Help us to walk in his footsteps. Help us to be steadfast. Help us not to turn back to folly, but to faithful to you.