A Psalm for the sons of Korah
Asking for the Lord’s mercy
1: LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. 2: Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. 3: Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. 4: Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. 5: Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? 6: Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? 7: Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. 8: I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. 9: Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. 10: Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11: Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. 12: Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. 13: Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
A prayer of David
A cry for help
1: Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. 2: Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. 3: Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. 4: Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5: For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. 6: Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 7: In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. 8: Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. 9: All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. 10: For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. 11: Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. 12: I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 13: For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. 14: O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 15: But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 16: O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. 17: Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
Today we are reading Psalm 85 & 86. In Psalm 85 Korah composes a Psalm which is a prayer for the land and the sanctuary. He begins and ends describing the mercies of the Lord on the land. Then we have two verses in which he prays twice and after the first prayer he asks questions and after his second prayer he receives answers. He begins his Psalm calling on the Lord and then he addresses the Lord, YOU – have been favourable to your land, You brought back those who were captive, You forgave the sins of your people, You covered all their sins. (This is not the same as complete forgiveness of sins) He says - You covered their sins - pause to think about that. You have taken away all your wrath. You have turned away the fierceness of your wrath. Then Korah says, Turn us around, O God our saviour and cause your anger to cease. This is not the same as New Testament Salvation. This is the deliverance of Israel from the judgment of God on their breaking of the Mosaic Covenant. It’s not a call to faith but a call to repentance, a change of mind and a corresponding change of life style and a return to Jehovah their God and to obedience to the LAW. Korah says, will your anger burn forever? Will you be angry for all generations to come? Will you not bring us back again so that we, your people, will rejoice in you again? Korah pleads that Jehovah will withhold his hand of judgment and in mercy deliver them. He says, I will listen to what God Jehovah will speak, because he will speak words of people to his people, to his holy people and may they never turn back to their folly again. Korah says, surely the deliverance of God is near those who fear him and that the glory of God will dwell in our land. Gods merciful withholding of judgment and Gods truth have come together. And the righteousness and peace of God, have come together. Truth will suddenly appear in the earth and the righteousness of God looks down from heaven. Korah says regarding Israel, Jehovah will give us everything that is good and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go ahead of the Lord and he will put us in the path to follow him. In Psalm 86 David brings us a prayer in the sanctuary. And his Psalm begins and ends with prayer. This Psalm is the only Psalm in this part of the book of Psalms and it refers to David’s greater Son and Lord. It speaks of the Messiahs humiliation which is the secret of blessing. David between the two prayers says that In the day of trouble he will call on the Lord and the Lord will answer him. And secondly he says All the nations will come and worship before me and glorify your name. Between these two statements David describes the LORD who is incomparable and whose works are incomparable. So David is speaking the words of Christ himself and he calls on the LORD to hear him because he is poor and needy. He pleads; preserve me because I am holy and you my God will save your servant who trusts in you. He says, have mercy on me O Lord because I cry to you every day. Bring joy to the soul of your servant because O Lord, to you, I place my soul on the altar. You Lord are good and ready to forgive and you have plenty of mercy for all those who call on you. Listen to me O LORD. David says the words of Christ when he says, in the day of trouble I will call on you and you will answer. There is none like you and there is nothing like what you have done. All nations will come and worship you O Lord and glorify your name, because you are great and you do wonderful things. You alone are God. In the last part of this Psalm David begins and ends in prayer and between these prayers he pleas for Gods goodness and between these pleas he describes mans wickedness to men and to God. So David begins saying Teach me O Lord and I will live according to your truth. Unite me to the truth so that I will fear your name. He says, I will praise you O Lord my God with all my heart and I will glorify your name for ever. Your mercy to wards me is great and you have delivered my soul from the deepest grave. O Lord the arrogant have stood up against me and the gangs of violent men have stalked me and they do not respect you. But in contrast to them, you O Lord, are full of compassion, kind, patient and you have plenty of mercy. David says, Turn back to me O Lord and have mercy on me. Give strength to me your servant and save my son. Shew me a token of your good toward me so that those who hate me will see it and be ashamed, because you LORD are my helper and comforter.
- Now that the Lord has restored Israel what does the Psalmist ask for?
- What sort of Revival or Salvation is he asking for?
- How does David call on the Lord for help?