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85. Psalm 85

Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.

2Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

3Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.

4Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.

5Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?

6Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

7Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.

8I 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.

9Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

10Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

13Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

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Verses 1–7

The sense of present afflictions should not do away the remembrance of former mercies. The favour 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. He shows mercy to those to whom he grants salvation; for salvation is of mere mercy. The Lord's people may expect sharp and tedious afflictions when they commit sin; but when they return to him with humble prayer, he will make them again to rejoice in him.

Verses 8–13

Sooner or later, God will speak peace to his people. If he do not command outward peace, yet he will suggest inward peace; speaking to their hearts by his Spirit. Peace is spoken only to those who turn from sin. All sin is folly, especially backsliding; it is the greatest folly to return to sin. Surely God's salvation is nigh, whatever our difficulties and distresses are. Also, his honour is secured, that glory may dwell in our land. And the truth of the promises is shown by the Divine mercy in sending the Redeemer. The Divine justice is now satisfied by the great atonement. Christ, the way, truth, and life, sprang out of the earth when he took our nature upon him, and Divine justice looked upon him well pleased and satisfied. For his sake all good things, especially his Holy Spirit, are given to those who ask him. Through Christ, the pardoned sinner becomes fruitful in good works, and by looking to and trusting in the Saviour's righteousness, finds his feet set in the way of his steps. Righteousness is a sure guide, both in meeting God, and in following him




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