Highlights:

God speaks in the first person; He waited (81:11) but no repentance; again the people cry, forgiveness, mercy, the exiles return, their thankfulness and God's love are clearly expressed here.

Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people, Thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all Thy wrath: Thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of Thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine anger toward us to cease (Ps.85:2-4).

In contrast to yesterday's focus verse, it would appear from these scriptures that Israel is finding her way back to God. The psalmist had previously been praying that God would help Israel turn her face back to God. He went on to pray that this would cause the favour of God to once again shine on Israel. This prayer is offering praise to the Lord for what He has done for Israel.

The psalmist today has a different message in his prayer, although he is still praising God. The nation has evidently begun to repent of their sins. The psalmist offers praise to God that He has forgiven them and covered their sins. It is truly the greatest blessing to have our sins eradicated by the forgiving power that is in the blood of Christ. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom. 3:25).

The psalmist goes on to say that the Lord no longer expresses His wrath against His people. Many times the word “wrath” is used when speaking of the judgment of the Lord. Some would say this makes the Lord look to be a hard judge. Make no mistake, God is a just judge. This means He will always judge fairly and punish that which needs to be punished. However, the correction of the Lord is meant to bring us back into a proper fellowship with Him. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (I Cor. 11:31-32).

It should also be mentioned here that it seems Israel has not made a complete turn around. The prayer of the psalmist to God is for Him to continue to move them back towards Him. It is also stated that the Lord still has anger towards them. Therefore, there must be some sin remaining for Him to be angry about.

There is much from this reading that we can apply to our own relationship with God. One of the most important is to remember when correction comes our way, whether it be from God or man, we should not be upset. It is meant to bring us back into line. The Word of God often will correct us.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (II Tim. 3:16).

Thought for Today:

Is the Lord your sufficiency as He was Paul's? (II Cor.3:5-6)

Christ Revealed:

By Jerusalem, from where the psalmist declared that all of the springs (sources) of joy and happiness flow (Ps. 87:7). Jesus is the Source of our joy as the angel announced at His birth (Luke 2:10). Jesus also declared: These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11).

Word Studies:

82:1 the gods, earthly rulers and judges; 82:4 rid, rescue; 82:5 foundations . . . out of course, administration of justice is ignored; 82:6 gods, My representatives; 83:2 lifted up the head, exalted themselves.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Cheryl Walker • Government Officials: Rep. Dave Camp (MI), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) • Country: Luxembourg (429,000) in western Europe • Major languages: Luxembourgish and German • Religious freedom • 84% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to deliver you from willful sins (Ps. 19:13).

Optional Reading: II Thessalonians 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 6:7