Summary: The passage is a heartfelt prayer for revival. The Psalmist is remembering how, after Israel had given into sin time after time, God had always provided a plan to bring them back to Himself. And with this thought in mind, his heart cries out to God, “Wilt


PSALMS 85: (1-7)


[Numbers 16]

The passage that we have just read is a heartfelt prayer for revival. The Psalmist is thinking back upon the spiritual history of Israel. He is remembering how, after Israel had given into sin time after time, God had always provided a plan to bring them back to Himself. And with this thought in mind, his heart cries out to God, “Wilt Thou Thyself not revive us again?”

Looking at our own nation, and its present situation, one can easily see the desperate need for revival. Our nation is dying (dead) in trespasses and sins and too many churches are spiritually asleep, therefore our land and our life is rapidly losing its Christian essence. The people of God seem spiritually impotent, the fires of devotion are burning low, and the joy of the Lord is all but gone. The consistent lack of obedience to the will of God among Christians is the problem underlying the need for revival. The followers of Christ have ceased to function as salt and light (Mt. 5:13-16) consequently there is minimal check on the ungodliness that is flooding our once noble land. Wickedness therefore grows like weeds and no unifying voice is raised in protest or warning about the frightening judgment of God that unchecked evil authorizes.

Is it all over then? One cannot be sure. God’s people and the world have fallen into dark decadence before, but God answered His faithful remnant’s cry with revival. Will He do it again? He will if we fervently desire Him to do so. It does not matter the severity of judgment we deserve. If mourning over and cleansing from sin would occur along with a new willingness to be obedient to His will, revival most certainly could come down upon us.

Note in the sub-heading for the Psalm. It says a Psalm of the sons of Korah meaning this beautiful prayer, probably set to music, was composed by the sons of Korah. “Now the name of Korah is connected with infamy in Numbers 16. There Korah, along with certain persons from the tribe of Reuben-Dathan, Abiram, and On– became insolent when they declared that it was time for a change in leadership. Moses and Aaron had to go! They argued that all the congregation was ‘Holy,’ so why should Aaron and Moses set themselves up as leaders over the Lord’s assembly? (Num. 16:3).

Moses and Aaron were instructed by God to tell the congregation of Israel to move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Num.16:23, 26). Suddenly the earth opened up, and they went down to their graves alive (Num. 16:33).

One would think that all the natural descendants of Korah would forever be cut off from the mercy and grace of God, but the title to this psalm indicates that” they found favor with God. The same Mosaic law that taught that God would punish the sins of “Fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Exod. 20:4) also taught that “fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his [or her] own sin” (Deut. 24:16). Thus the marvelous grace of God did not hold against the lineal descendants of Korah the faults that overtook their forefather, but instead raised them to even greater heights by allowing them to be the authors of Scripture, including Psalms 42-49; 84-85; and 87-88. In 2 Chronicles 20:19 the Korahites stood along with the Levities and the Kohahites to praise the Lord as they marched toward the enemy army.

How appropriate, then, that the family that had experienced so generously the grace of God should be used by God to call their generation and ours back to that same God of Grace! They did this in Psalm 85, with four strophes that laid out before the Lord four requests:” [Walter Kaiser, Jr. Revives Us Again. Broadman & Holman Publ. Nashville, TN. 1999. p. 20.]





This beautiful prayer for revival should teach us how we ought to pray as we earnestly storm the gates of heaven and cry out to God to revive His church, our sin laden culture, and the nations.


A victorious Christian life will be one that has many beginning again experiences with God. A good way to find restoration or a fresh start with God is to praise God for His past faithfulness. In spite of their present suffering the faithful remnant who had returned to the promised land from the captivity of Babylon does just that as the Psalm begins in verse one. “O Lord, You showed favor to Your land; You restored the captivity of Jacob.”

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