Bible Book: Psalms
Chapter: 85
Verse: 1
Verse (to): 14


Psalm 85

I can imagine many who can identify with the cry for help of the Psalmist in verses 4 to 7: “Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation” (TNIV). People who struggle to make peace with their HIV+ status and to live with HIV. People with loved ones whose health is deteriorating. People who live in dire circumstances like Zimbabwe.
The good news of Psalm 85 is that God hears our cries. He means well with his people. Listen to the encouragement in verse 8: “I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people” (NLT).
What surprises me in this Psalm is the emphasis on righteousness as the essence of God’s help. Isn’t righteousness one of our deepest needs? To be treated fairly. To receive an honest answer. Not to be stripped of your dignity. To be listened to. And isn’t righteousness the one need where we are often incapable of asserting ourselves and where we are defenseless against people who treat us unrighteously?
According to Psalm 85 the God who hears our deepest prayers is the God of righteousness.
However, when God gives us righteousness it does not mean that we are simply passive receivers. The warning in this Psalm is that we may not turn to foolish ways (verse 8b). The Psalm calls the petitioner to faithfulness (truth) and love (verse 10). God’s salvation breaks through when these two meet: “Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven (verse 11 TNIV).
To think about (or discuss): What does the emphasis on righteousness mean in the context of the HIV and Aids pandemic?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English