READ PSALM 85 & 86
Over the last week we have studied Psalms 85 and 86 in tandem. Today, we have the joy of putting them together, and understanding why they were placed next to each other in the book of Psalms.
Reread Psalm 85:1-7. Remind yourself of who is speaking and what they are asking for.
What is primarily in view here?
Read Psalm 85:8-13. Who is speaking now? What transition has occurred?
What is primarily in view here?
Read Psalms 86:1-7. Who is speaking here? What is he asking for?
Read Psalm 86:8-17. What is primarily in view here?
How do you think these psalms relate to one another?
Read Psalms 85 & 86 in tandem, aloud if possible. (Seriously. Do it. It will be worth it!) As you read, make note of every reference to God’s covenantal faithfulness or steadfast love.
When read together, these two Psalms paint a beautiful picture for you and me of God’s steadfast, covenant-keeping love. Psalm 85 begins with a choir, several voices lifted up to God. In unison they ask for God to come and restore them, to relent from His anger, to withdraw His wrath. Together they cry out for God to show them His steadfast love.
Then, as the crowd falls silent, a singe voice emerges…a priestly voice, inquiring of the Lord and asking how He will respond. PEACE! God’s response is peace for His people! God has heard their communal cry and has promised to bring shalom to His people. And in the rejoicing of the prophet we see the word of God in full: God’s steadfast love and faithfulness meet! Righteousness and shalom kiss each other! From the ground springs up faithfulness and the righteousness of God is pouring from the sky. This is the word of God! This is His answer for His people who cry out together for salvation!
Moving to Psalm 86, we notice that David’s singular cry reflects the nation’s cry: a cry for salvation. David is well aware that he is low, that he is small and not worthy of notice. After all, he is just one man. God, on the other hand, is high and exalted! He is lifted up! God must reach down to David’s small, unworthy place in order to save Him.
And then, aware of his small stature and unworthy posture, David also appeals to God’s steadfast love! David calls on God’s covenant-keeping faithfulness and asks that God would save. The same faithfulness God showed the nation, the same covenant God kept with His people, David is asking to be extended to him personally.
And this is the Gospel, friends! God made a covenant with His people – a promise to send them a Savior who would save them as a nation. He promised to send a Messiah who would render their national sins powerless over them. He promised to send them a King over every one of their kings who would rule over their nation in love and justice. And God sent Jesus – the Savior of the world, and the Savior for you and me. God, in His extensive, lavish, perfect mercy saves not just nations of people, but you and me. He not only makes covenants with communities, but with hearts like yours and mine.
PRAY & REFLECT
Supplication: Confess to God that you have done nothing in your own power to draw His attention or merit His favor.
Submission: Confess to God that He is rich in mercy! Praise Him for making a covenant with the nation of Israel and for extending the blessings of that covenant to you. Praise Him that He has saved you personally and individually.