Psalms 85 Commentary

Psalms 85-86 The steadfast love of God

Israel had again suffered God’s punishment in being defeated by its enemies. The psalmist reminds God that when this happened in the past, God forgave his people and poured out his blessings on them


afresh (85:1-3). Would he not, therefore, in the present crisis do the same once more (4-7)? The psalmist thinks longingly of the spiritual paradise that results when people are living in a right relation with their God. Steadfast love flows down from God and is met by covenant faithfulness from his people (8-11). And as people respond to God’s unfailing goodness, the land will enter a new era of fruitfulness, bringing fresh benefits to God’s people (12-13).

Psalm 86 is similar to many psalms that David wrote in his times of distress. Knowing that God is on the side of those who are treated unjustly, the psalmist calls confidently for his help. He trusts in God’s steadfast love (86:1-7). God is supreme. Both creation and history show that he is the only true God (8- 10). Therefore, the psalmist desires to know him better, obey him more faithfully and praise him more constantly (11-13). On the basis of God’s close relation with him, he appeals to God to give him strength to escape those who are trying to kill him (14-17).

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