“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6 NIV).
Psalm 85 is one the popular psalm especially its sixth verse that talks about revival. The title of the Psalm, “For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm,” does not give the name of the author or its background. It was evidently composed in view of the fact that God had, on some former occasion, stepped in when His people were in trouble, but that now for similar causes He was again angry with them, and they were suffering similar calamities (cf. Judges 2:18, 19 and Psalm 78:8). The psalm contains a fervent prayer that God would again appear for them, and it implies a confident expectation that He would do this, so that the calamities which had come upon them would be removed.
Verses 1-3 of the psalm deal with God’s goodness in the past. It begins with praise to God for restoring the nation. This restoration showed the fact that God had forgiven and covered all their sins, and had set aside His wrath and anger. One can liken this situation to the Judges’ era in the history of Israel. Verses 4-7 are about people’s prayer for revival. The verses partly described the state of the people. It is clear that the nation was suffering from some calamity; that the anger of God seemed to be upon them; that it appeared as if His wrath would never be turned away; and that unless He should interpose the nation must perish. This may likely be related with the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews in 2 Kings 25, Jeremiah 39. The psalmist prayed that the Lord would again turn His wrath away and deliver them. He wanted the Lord to put away His displeasure, and not continue to be angry. Apparently the past restoration referred to in verses 1-3 inspired this prayer for another restoration. By been revived, they would again be able to rejoice and experience His unfailing love. Perhaps no other prayer is more welcome in the ears of God than the one for revival, as expressed here in verse 6.
Verses 8 and 9 are the promise from God. The psalmist said he would listen for word from the LORD who promises peace to His saints. He gives salvation so that His glory may be evident in the land. "Glory" here means the manifestation of God’s presence (cf. Isaiah 60:1-2; Zechariah 2:5). These ideas expressed in God's revelation to Israel find their ultimate fulfilment in Christ. This promise of peace and salvation through the glory of the One who dwells among men may have been in John's mind when he wrote John 1:14. Verses 10-13 are about the faith of the psalmist. He was confident that the LORD would cause His attributes (love, faithfulness, and righteousness) to work together to provide peace, righteousness, and prosperity.
It should be noted that only a child of God can be revived. Sinners cannot be revived; they need to be resurrected. A dead person cannot be revived; only a live person can be or should be revived. God is ready to revive us if we sincerely pray for revival. However, we must not, because of this, continue to sin. God will forgive and revive, but the scars of the sins will still be there! (Cf. Romans 6:1).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).