Listen to this Sermon: 03102013Psa85DonRuhl

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The Blessings of God in Your Life 

Opening the fount of blessings in your life

Psalm 85

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 10, In the year of our Lord, 2013

Scripture Reader and Reading: Phil Joseph – First Corinthians 3.21–23

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Kevin Michael – “Count Your Blessings,” “Revive Us Again,” “It Is Well with My Soul”


  1. Psalm 85.0 – Recipients of Blessings

    0 To the Chief Musician.
    A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
    (Psa 85.0)

    1. The sons of Korah knew
      1. the wrath of God, and
      2. the blessings of God.
    2. While the Lord had brought them back from Babylonian captivity, yet,
      1. they had not been restored to their former glory, because
      2. they had trouble with the people whom the Babylonians and Assyrians
        1. had moved into the land while Israel was gone.
        2. The Lord brought Israel back, but
          1. He did not remove the foreign people.
          2. Therefore, the sons of Korah were thankful for the return, but
            1. then they needed help against their enemies.
    3. As Israel sought to rebuild the temple and the wall of Jerusalem,
      1. their enemies fought them,
      2. as shown in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
        1. Therefore, God had shown grace by bringing Isarel back, but
        2. He still seemed angry at them, because
          1. of the problems they had with their enemies.
          2. Israel needed a second outpouring of God’s grace.
    4. Therefore, the sons of Korah put together this psalm/prayer.
  2. Psalm 85.1–3 – Remember Blessings

    1 Lord, You have been favorable to Your land;
    You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.
    2 You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;
    You have covered all their sin.
    3 You have taken away all Your wrath;
    You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.
    (Psa 85.1–3)

    1. The Lord showed favor to the land
      1. by bringing back Israel
      2. from Babylonian captivity.
        1. Notice that the sons of Korah referred to the land as “Your land.”
        2. They tied together their interest with the Lord’s interest.
          1. If Israel suffered,
          2. it would dishonor God.
            1. We want blessings from God, but
            2. we need to show what is in it for Him.
    2. Bringing Israel back to the Land of Canaan,
      1. became a sign
        1. that the Lord had forgiven and
        2. covered the sin of His people.
      2. Now, they needed another sign of His favor toward them.
    3. “Selah,” ponder that for a while.
      1. Even as the Lord forgave all their sin,
      2. so we have a song with a line
        1. that highlights the magnificence of God for covering all our sin.My sin—O, the bliss of this glorious tho’t!—My sin—not in part but the whole,
          Is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more,
          Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O, my soul!
    4. The sons of Korah remembered past and present blessings.
      1. We cannot hope to have God continue to bless us,
      2. if we fail to remember how He already has blessed us.
        1. Credit God with the blessings in your life, because
        2. as James 1 teaches,
          1. every good thing in our lives comes from Him,17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (Jam 1.17).
          2. That means future good things will come from Him.
    5. Thank Him for the blessings, and
      1. name some.
        1. Count your many blessings, and
        2. it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
      2. Writing your blessings down, as the sons of Korah did,
        1. will have a profound impact you
        2. as you see with your eyes a large group of blessings.
          1. Seeing it on paper and
          2. seeing it in your mind are two different things.
            1. Write down your blessings and
            2. you will see what I mean.
              1. Be sure to include blessings of both
              2. this world and the spirit.
  3. Psalm 85.4–7 – Request Blessings

    4 Restore us, O God of our salvation,
    And cause Your anger toward us to cease.
    5 Will You be angry with us forever?
    Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
    6 Will You not revive us again,
    That Your people may rejoice in You?
    7 Show us Your mercy, Lord,
    And grant us Your salvation.
    (Psa 85.4–7)

    1. Israel had returned, but
      1. they still needed the Lord.
      2. Truly, it was turning away from the Lord
        1. that got them into trouble initially.
        2. Turning to anything else for blessings, and
          1. eventually you will feel the vanity and
          2. emptiness of your new god.
            1. Only the true and living God
            2. can fulfill your life.
    2. Hence they cried out for restoration.
      1. He had saved them.
      2. Now, they needed restoration.
        1. You can save something from the dump, but
        2. that does not mean it has been restored to its original splendor.
          1. God brought them back from Babylon,
          2. now they needed to be as in former times before their idolatry.
    3. The psalmists acknowledged that God had been angry, but
      1. they wondered whether He would continue His anger.
      2. With salvation only, and
        1. not restoration,
        2. they thought He was still angry.
          1. However, if they could be revived,
          2. they could rejoice in Him.
    4. Therefore, they begged for mercy and
      1. asked Him to grant salvation,
      2. salvation in a fuller sense, renewing them completely.
  4. Psalm 85.8–13 – Receive Blessings

    8 I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
    For He will speak peace
    To His people and to His saints;
    But let them not turn back to folly.
    9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
    That glory may dwell in our land.
    10 Mercy and truth have met together;
    Righteousness and peace have kissed.
    11 Truth shall spring out of the earth,
    And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
    12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
    And our land will yield its increase.
    13 Righteousness will go before Him,
    And shall make His footsteps our pathway.
    (Psa 85.8–13)

    1. The psalmists had spoken to God, so now
      1. the psalmists fully expected God to answer.
      2. Otherwise, why pray?
        1. If we hear Him in the word,
        2. He will hear us in prayer.
          1. If He hears us in prayer,
          2. He will answer in our lives.
    2. Knowing that He had already begun a good work with them,
      1. the psalmists believed that when God spoke
      2. it would be words of peace.
        1. Why would He bring them from Babylon,
        2. only to let them be a second-rate power?
    3. The Lord finishes what He starts.6 …being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phi 1.6).

      8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me
      (Psa 138.8)

      9 “Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God (Isa 66.9).

    4. However, the sons of Korah suddenly issued a warning at the end of verse 8.
      1. Do not turn back to folly.
      2. Remember why God had been angry.
        1. The folly to which they had fallen was idolatry,
        2. although that is not the only folly to avoid in life.
    5. On the other hand, if they feared God,
      1. His salvation would be near to them,
      2. which meant that glory would dwell in the land.
    6. Then in verses 10–13,
      1. see the exchange of mercy, truth, and especially righteousness.
      2. Mercy and truth meet.
        1. Often we only deal in truth, and
        2. we forget to show mercy.
      3. Righteousness and peace kiss.
        1. They are friends of one another.
      4. When truth springs out of the earth,
        1. righteousness looks down from heaven.
      5. Then the Lord will give what is good, and
        1. the land would experience increase.
      6. Righteousness goes before the Lord,
        1. making footsteps for our path.


  1. Look at what the sons of Korah did in the first three verses. 
    1. They counted their blessings.
    2. They credited God with those blessings, including:
      1. His favor toward the land,
      2. His return of the captives,
      3. His forgiveness of their sins, and
      4. the removal of His wrath.
        1. I recommend that you do what they did,
        2. writing down your blessings, and
          1. be sure to include both blessings of the flesh and of the spirit,
          2. which is what they did.
  2. Then seek His further blessings, which they did: 
    1. asking Him to restore them,
    2. asking Him to cease His anger against them,
    3. asking Him how long He would be angry,
    4. asking Him to revive them again,
    5. asking Him for mercy, and
    6. asking Him for salvation, and
      1. explaining that you want those things
      2. for the same reason that the sons of Korah listed in verse 6,
        1. that you might rejoice in Him.
  3. Finally, express your confidence that He will do good. 
    1. That is what the sons of Korah did in verses 8–13.
    2. Remember Psalm 84.11,11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
      The Lord will give grace and glory;
      No good thing will He withhold
      From those who walk uprightly.
      (Psa 84.11)
    3. Thus, the sons of Korah listed the good things they expected:
      1. peace from God,
      2. salvation to God-fearers,
      3. mercy and truth,
      4. righteousness and peace,
      5. truth from the earth,
      6. righteousness from heaven,
      7. whatever was good,
      8. increase,
      9. their righteousness would pave the way for Him, and
      10. they would follow in His footsteps.
  4. If you need revival, 
    1. if you find your spirituality is not what it should be,
    2. let us pray a Psalm 85-like prayer for you.
  • Psalms (