Preparing for Eternity

Psalm 85

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Psalm

PSALM 85

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.


Outline

Psalm 85
By Pastor Clinton Macomber

A The First Part of Restoration is the Acceptance of the Truth

1 God shows His favor to His land by repealing captivity, Psalm 85:1

2 God forgave the sins of His people, Psalm 85:2

3 God took away His wrath, Psalm 85:3

4 God can restore us if the wrath is not permanent, Psalm 85:4-5

A The Second Part of Restoration is Vigilance

1 Revival enables us to praise God, Psalm 85:6

2 God can show mercy and love, Psalm 85:7

3 God speaks peace, but we must be vigilant, Psalm 85:8

4 Help is always close at hand, Psalm 85:9.

A The Third Part of Restoration is the Holy Union with God

1 Love and truth, right and peace meet, Psalm 85:10

2 Truth rises to meet descending justice, Psalm 85:11

3 God then grants bounty, Psalm 85:12

4 Justice goes before God and prepares His way, Psalm 85:13


Sermon

 

The Move to Full Restoration
Psalm 85
by Pastor Clinton Macomber

There is a way to restore things in our lives. God tells us the process. This works not only in restoring a relationship with God, but with others as well. Recently there was a housewife who did not have any control over her children, and her marriage was suffering because she used the children as shields to keep her from being close to her husband or anyone else. While much effort was going in to bring change, and she seemed very willing to follow the rules laid down by the counselor, she did not see any improvement until she admitted and accepted the truth, that she was the source of the problems in her life—not her children, husband, schedule, or anything else. Next is vigilance. Unless she worked hard at making sure she was following a schedule and requiring her children to be responsible, her life would slip back to when things were out of control, and actually things would be much worse. Lastly, she needed to make sure there was a balance of all things before God.

This song works. This lady and her husband were surprised how quickly things changed in the family. In just a couple days, the children were behaving very well, and her husband was deeply involved with the family. Things had taken a complete change in them.

A The First Part of Restoration is the Acceptance of the Truth

1 God shows His favor to His land by repealing captivity

Psalm 85:1 LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.

There is an amazing thing, that the land having personality in being able to know those that dwell in it, and reacting accordingly.

We read that the land could not bear both Lot and Abraham, since each had so many possessions. Genesis 13:6.

We read of famine eating up and destroying land, Genesis 41:30.

When land gets defiled it vomits out the inhabitants:

Leviticus 18:24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: 25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. 26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: 27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)

The land also needs rest every sabbath and sabbath year

Leviticus 25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

The land is seen as resting when evil nations are thrust out of it, and the people obey God.

Judges 3:11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

The old land called Canaan has never flourished unless the Israelites have been present, and in a good relationship with God. Other nations simply cannot get the land to sustain them, and only bring a dire desolation to the region, yet these other nations are determined to keep Israelites out of the land! To make matters even more confusing, the surrounding nations benefit greatly when Israel dwells in their own land, because this country becomes the breadbasket for the whole region, and indeed the world. Any socialistic system would seem to recognize these facts, and as a result force Jews to live in Israel!

2 God forgave the sins of His people

Psalm 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

God is a forgiving God, and when His people ask for forgiveness, He forgives them. He asks that we take upon ourselves the same spirit.

How many times has God forgiven Israel? It would be an interesting challenge to count up the times recorded in Scripture. I would imagine that it exceeds the 490 times mentioned by our Lord.

Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is a very important part of our life. As we forgive others, we receive forgiveness.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

3 God took away His wrath

Psalm 85:3 Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.

Scripture makes a clear distinction between wrath that is permanent and that which comes and goes based on the activity of the object in view. While He is always listening for repentance, there are some who have the wrath of God abiding on them. His children may have His anger for a period of time, until they make things right, but ordinarily they can enjoy His blessings.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Isaiah 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

4 God can restore us if the wrath is not permanent

Psalm 85:4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?

There are some that have God's wrath upon them as a nation. This does not mean that individuals cannot be saved and become exceptions to His wrath, but that the normal actions of these families of people is predictable in being against God, His will, and His people.

Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. 5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

An example of the importance of facing the facts is the theory of evolution. There have been many fabrications and lies that are gathered and assumed as fact, but until all concerned will admit the facts do not support the theories, they will never be able to progress in a proper understanding of the world. There were a few honored fools that mandated that we teach evolution in the public schools because it was fact. Science is supposed to be based on facts, yet every three or four years the schools have to throw out their science textbooks and teaching supplies because the facts they taught are proved hoaxes. The dates constantly change and the pictures of artifacts are proven to be false. Examples once heralded as proofs of missing links between man and monkey like the piltdown man, the minnesota man, etc. are found to be nothing more than a pig's tooth and a rubber and hair piece made in a wax museum. Yet, even though there is a constant revision of these texts, there are a few honored people that insist the theory must be presented as fact. It has thus held up the understanding of many things as a result.

A The Second Part of Restoration is Vigilance

1 Revival enables us to praise God

Psalm 85:6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Revivals belong only to God. The ways of the world are not revivals but the very opposite. A revival is a change for the better. The world's method of revival is to get drunk or to lay around doing nothing. The ways of the world leave a person drained and take their tool on one's health, soul and spirit.

God's revival is the giving of fresh energy and strength to us so that we can go out and do great things for God. It is the empowering from above that enables men of faith to stand up before the most vile of counsels and declare their faith in God when the fires of death are being stoked. It is the revival of the heart that enables a child of to withstand many hours of intense torture and not break down to claim they were wrong. It is the revival of God that enables His people to withstand amazing suffering like Job and still look forward to the time of justice before God, knowing it is not their own sin that brings the suffering, but the hand of God.

The old English word of quick means lively. Thus, God's word is what gives us lively energy.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

2 God can show mercy and love

Psalm 85:7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.

3 God speaks peace, but we must be vigilant

Psalm 85:8 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.

When we ask for God's mercy, He gives it. He speaks and the storms are calmed. He speaks and we are forgiven and the way to restoration is opened. But it is important that we take measures not to go back to our old ways. Those old habits have dire consequences. It is akin to the evil spirit that gets cast out of a person and later returns, finding the person's heart open, only to bring more evil spirits to join him.

Matthew 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Repentance is a part of confession. Repentance is the complete change in direction in our lives so that we are now headed in the right direction. Sin is a deviation from the path of doing what is right. When we sin, we are going the wrong way. When we repent, we turn and advance the way to holiness.

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

4 Help is always close at hand

Psalm 85:9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

God is always near those that reverence Him, wanting to shower His blessings when at all possible.

Vigilance is the price of freedom. Our fathers fought long and hard so we could have the freedom to worship God, without some religious government killing all who disagree with their whims. To enjoy this freedom, we must be vigilant. We must stand tall and strong against the constant assaults of the enemy that would seek to bring socialism and agnosticism in as the law.

There was a stage crew that had to install speakers in large auditoriums for concerts. This meant they had to walk on beams sometimes a hundred feet above the concrete, carrying large speakers to mount and suspend. These men loved their work and the pay, and being that high was not a problem for them. But they said what they hated was when there would be a false ceiling suspended a couple feet below the beams. It would give them a false sense of security, and make them feel like they were not really as dangerously high as they were. This false sense of security was dangerous, because if they lost their footing, that thin acoustical board would not hold them up, but let them fall crashing below.

Vigilance is meaningless unless we know our enemy and are ever conscience of it. Admitting the truth, and seeing the truth clearly is the means whereby we can maintain our stance and stand tall.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

A The Third Part of Restoration is the Holy Union with God

1 Love and truth, right and peace meet

Psalm 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other .

It is the advent of evil into God's creation that set up a conflict within the attributes of God. Holiness condemns sin while the love of God seeks to save the sinner. Love alone could make the sacrifice requisite that the sinner might be saved. This undertaking should not be interpreted as though one God (Christ) is saving the sinner from another God (the Father). It is within the very nature of God that adjustment between the attributes has been wrought. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor 5:19). 1

2 Truth rises to meet descending justice

Psalm 85:11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

The relationship God desires requires that we learn to be honest with Him and others so that He in turn can allow the doing of what is right to look down upon us.

3 God then grants bounty

Psalm 85:12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

Times of famine are very difficult. Not being able to eat, because of a lack of food is hard to watch as well as hard to endure. It is a sure way to get the attention of a people. The United States has been fortunate in not having to worry too much about famines, except for the wars carried out on our shores, but with a growing dependence on ungodly foreign nations, we are heading straight for world-wide famines. The abuse of soil here in America, as well as around the globe is sure to bring hard times. The earth has to rest from constant production. When a people will turn from their wickedness to God, He can end the famine for them. By breaking down community and area distinctions, and making products and goods the property of a world economy, the judgment on one region now has world-wide implications. An example being suffered today is found in the oil industry. When we in the U.S. Produced our own oil, the cost was very low, and the proceeds high. Many millionaires were made in oil. But when the government started regulating all aspects of this industry, we no longer produce enough oil to meet demand, and instead rely on other nations to supply our needs at a high price.

4 Justice goes before God and prepares His way

Psalm 85:13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

Doing what is right is what goes before God, and it is the activity that puts us in the place where we can follow His steps. If we want to follow God, the key is to begin doing what is right with our time, resources, and friendships. This leads to godliness and blessing.

The following quotation is from the “Cadet Prayer.” It is repeated every Sunday in chapel services at West Point: “Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be contented with half truth when whole truth can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when right and truth are in jeopardy.” 2

1 Lewis Sperry Chafer. “Biblical Theism: The Attributes of God (Concluded).” Bibliotheca Sacra (Dallas Theological Seminary, 1939; 2002). Vol. 96. page 12-13.

2 P. L. Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations (Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996, c1979).


Topic Study

The Day of Restoration in Scripture
Psalm 85
by Pastor Clinton Macomber

Restoration involves making amends for things lies.

Leviticus 6:5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.

Elijah must come first and restore family relationships

Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Elijah will come before the Messiah.

Matthew 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

Restoration involves the return with interest of things mistaken.

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

Christ is in Heaven until the Time of Restitution of all things.

Acts 3:20-21 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Spiritually minded people seek to restore those who are at fault.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Restoration of those that have turned away from salvation is not possible.

Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Restoration follows suffering, enabling and increase in spiritual strength.

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you .


Quote

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

Psalm 85:10

This has been fitly called “the bridal of the earth and sky.” Mercy is the love that finds its reason in itself, its measure in helplessness and ill-desert. But in God it is always blended with Truth . God must be faithful to his covenant relations, to his Son, to Himself, and to the law which He has instituted. Any display of mercy must be consistent with truth. These are heavenly twins. Where you meet one you will be sure of the other. Jesus was full of grace and truth. The love He brings is consistent with the highest considerations; and by his death it is so arranged that God acts consistently with his holy law in loving and saving the meanest and weakest believer.

Righteousness has for her twin sister Peace . “The effect of righteousness shall be peace.” The King of Righteousness is after that the King of Peace. If you want peace, you must be right with God; and if you would be right with God, you must come to Jesus and become united to Him, who is made unto us the righteousness of God. At the cross these two kissed. The righteousness of God was satisfied, and the peace of man secured.

What a wondrous cross is that on which the Prince of Glory died! The question was — How could God be just, and yet justify the ungodly? How could He uphold the majesty of the moral law, and yet take sinners to his heart? But the answer came clear and satisfying, when the Maker of man took on Himself our sin and gave justice its due. Now see that perfect blending of the Divine attributes, and that God is “just, and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Oh that truth might spring up as the response and echo of our hearts!

F. B. Meyer, Our Daily Homily (Redding, California: Pleasant Places Press, 2004; Galaxie Software, 2004). Vol. 3 page 85.


Devotions

Monday, Psalm 85:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

What we say and do speaks loudly as to our loyalties and true motivation from the heart. When we claim to be a follower of some created being or formed item, we are declaring our animal like behavior. We are letting our evil whims control us instead of being a follower of God. In order for the captivity of sin and rebellion to be broken in our lives, we have to turn our loyalties to God alone, seeking His forgiveness and atonement for our sin. When that is done from the heart, we can enjoy the favors of God and the freedom from captivity.

Tuesday, Psalm 85:3-4 and 1 Corinthians 3:5-8

When we are saved, we experience the joy of knowing God has saved us and looked favorably upon us. It is a thrilling moment. However, we soon become attached to our former loyalties, and in order to be restored to the joy of our salvation, we must learn to reject anything that steps between us and God, even if it be important Christian teachers. They are nothing outside of God, and it is God that does all the work and so should get all the credit.

Wednesday, Psalm 85:5-6 and 1 Corinthians 3:9-12

God does not want to be angry forever. He seeks that any building upon His foundation be that of quality. As such, the building must be of God and not of man. Man's works are feeble and inappropriate for the foundation of God. The way to rejoicing and the favor of God is to let God work through us and create what is needed and what is lasting.

Thursday, Psalm 85:7-8 and 1 Corinthians 3:13-16

God is in complete agreement with the prayer of the Psalmist. He desires to show mercy and bring salvation. He wants us to hear Him speak “Peace” to us. He also does not want to see us turn back into foolishness. We should be very motivated to make every use we can of His holy Spirit in allowing His Spirit to make a work in us that only God can do. Our lives are going to be tested. Reward is only given for what endures. Everything else will be burned away. Our standing will be set for all eternity. With God giving everything for our good, how can we not trust Him and rely on Him for growth?

Friday, Psalm 85:9-10 and 1 Corinthians 3:17-20

It is a glorious thing to behold the work of God as such great divergent qualities come together to create a glorious working. However, it is a shame to see so much waste and defilement among those who claim to be children of God. We are part of God's temple and as such must allow Him to cleanse us and keep us from defilement from the world. The Jews declare that the very dust of the ground is defiled, and in order to raise a holy priesthood, the person has to be raised on purified rock. The Lord Jesus teaches that we are in the world, and must live in the world, but that He can cleanse us from the filth of this world. His primary concern is a spiritual cleansing, and the physical cleansing will come as we leave this world and enter His presence.

Saturday, Psalm 85:11-13 and 1 Corinthians 3:21-23

God can cause the rocks to cry out in praise if man will not! He gives everything that is good and will supply whatever we need to grow to understand and enjoy the peace that He grants. Everything that happens in our life is for our benefit. It is to keep us humble and to keep us from becoming vain in our imagination. Let us walk with the Lord in purity and holiness!


Puzzle

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Psalm 85


K H E E J W S A L V A T I O N U S T
E T N W W H G R A N T S R T T W S T
W U I P R A Y E R H W M T A V A E D
P R H H H F O R G I V E N A H D N W
F T T G E N E R A T I O N S N S E E
G A S T N I A S S D Y U E T S P C L
E C V H A L E S G R J L D E J E R L
G O J O S D Y N E C P D N E Y A E L
L V N A U M R H R O P S R D S K I M
O E S Y C R T A E U U E V O L S F T
R R P S T O A P W O T S M M L E I S
Y E R P Y I B B E O D A V I D D I K
C D I E V S V T L R T E E A D E Y Y
E V N T C Y H I E E E R D G Y V W Y
A I G S C G D G T C F C N A R I E L
S H C R I H N S A P U N A I G V A L
E P E R K A K E H J A I L N N E C O
P M N H F H P H T F F C T D A R H F
AGAIN GLORY RIGHTEOUSNESS
ANGER GRANT SAINTS
ANGRY HAST SALVATION
CAPTIVITY INCREASE SELAH
CEASE JACOB SPEAK
COVERED KISSED SPRING
DAVID LAND STEPS
DWELL LORD THINE
EACH MERCY TOWARD
FAVOURABLE OTHER TRUTH
FIERCENESS PEACE TURN
FOLLY PEOPLE YIELD
FORGIVEN PRAYER
GENERATIONS REVIVE

 


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