PSALMS 2018 | DAY XXXIII

READ PSALM 85

Today we get to look at one of my very favorite pieces of poetry in the Psalter. It’s bursting with glorious imagery, and rich in theological meaning for you and me. 

Take a moment to read Psalm 85:10-13 aloud if possible. Read it slowly and savor it. Let your imagination fill out the visuals the psalmists are trying to share. 

Let’s work to understand what is in view here with a few short word studies. I’ve limited the references for this word study since we will be doing a few of them, so do your best to mine each reference for a full understanding of the word at hand. Also note: we’ve already done a word study on two of these words. Flip back in your notes and give yourself a refresher of what the word means. Word studies we have already done are marked with an asterisk (*):

*Steadfast Love:

Faithfulness (in some places, this word is translated as “truth”):

Judges 9:16

1 Samuel 12:24

1 Kings 17:24

Righteousness:

Leviticus 19:36

Deuteronomy 1:16

Psalm 4:1

*Peace:

Here we are given a vision of life in God’s economy. If we were to ask ourselves, what is life like when lived under the watchful eye of the God of salvation, this would be our answer. Steadfast love and faithfulness are meeting together – like old friends in a coffee shop. God’s covenant keeping promises and His enduring faithfulness are mingling. Righteousness and peace greet each other with a kiss, as dear companions and joyful friends. As we look around the scene we notice that the ground is spewing further faithfulness – the unchanging character of God is welling up from the ground beneath our feet, as if all the earth and terrain in the world could not bear to hold it all in. And from the sky we feel the refreshing raindrops of His righteousness – bringing life to everything it touches. In God’s economy, in God’s world, this is not just imagery, but reality. 

Remind yourself the context of these lines of the Psalm. Who is speaking?

God’s response to the people as they wait for the answer to their request for salvation is this glorious picture of abundance. God could have just answered with one word: peace. And that would have been abundantly generous of Him! But He didn’t leave the answer there. He continues to paint a beautiful and glorious picture of life in God’s economy – and in the world He is inviting them into by His grace.

Consider your own salvation. Where have we seen these attributes of God come together? 

God’s response to you and me is the same. In Christ, we see God’s covenant-keeping promises to send the Messiah and His faithfulness to fulfill it meet! In Christ, we see God’s righteousness, His insistence that the Law be kept, meet with the only One who would bring peace between us and God. In Christ, we see the one who not just kept but fulfilled the Law. In Christ, we see God’s faithfulness come up from the ground as Christ literally rises from the dead and walks out from the earth. This is God’s response to our cry for salvation: Christ! He doesn’t give to us anything other than His very Self, and he invites us into His world.

PRAY & REFLECT

Supplication: Confess to God all the areas of your heart and life in which you need His saving grace. 

Submission: Using the words of Psalm 85, pray God’s Word back to God. Confess to Him that He is all you need and the only One who can save.

Author: amygannett

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