This psalm, written and composed by the Sons of Korah, to be sung as a prayer by the assembly of Israel, is very different from the worship sung in many churches today. It acknowledges God’s anger with sin, and how sin leads to the removal of God’s favor and blessing. This psalm calls on God to forgive and restore His people; it calls on the listener to fear God and never return to their sin and folly. It looks expectantly for God to graciously revive His people once again.
Psalm 85 (NIV)
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.