Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, October 31, 2013

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This Psalm of the sons of Korah, speaks of Israel’s return from captivity in Babylon. The Lord had been angry with His people and caused them to suffer the terrible consequences of their rebellion against Him.  Describing the bloody fall of Jerusalem, the chronicler writes, “And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.   But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy” ( 2 Chron. 36:15-16).       

Now the psalmist rejoices that God has forgiven His people, covered their sins, and turned away from the fierceness of His anger (v. 3).    But there still were  problems as the people resettled the land and tried to rebuild their temple.  The psalmist pleads for God to restore His favor and cease being angry.  Then he adds, “Will you not revive us again?” – the prayer of God’s people today as we seek for revival.

He pleads for God to bless the nation as He has done in the past, that glory may dwell in the land (v. 9).   

It has always been Satan’s strategy to separate justice and mercy.  But through the wonders of the plan of salvation Jesus took our sins and credits us with His righteousness, demonstrating that God is both merciful and just.  “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.”(v.10; see Desire of Ages, p. 762).  With joy the psalmist sees truth rising from the earth, and righteousness looking down from heaven (v. 11).  Once again the covenant faithfulness of God would let the earth yield its increase (v.12).

Prayer:   Lord, we cry with the psalmist today, “Will You not revive us again?”    Will you not help us with the immense difficulties we face all around us today as the end of time draws near?

 

Beatrice Neall
Retired Professor of Religion
Union College