Psalm 85 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 85)

Verse 1

[1] LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.

Captivity — The captives.

Verse 4

[4] Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.

Turn us — Restore us to our former tranquillity, and free us from the troubles which we yet groan under.

Verse 6

[6] Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Revive us — Give us a second reviving in bringing home the rest of our brethren, and in restraining our enemies.

Verse 8

[8] I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

Will hear — Diligently observe.

Will speak — What answer God will give to my prayers.

Peace — He will give an answer of peace.

Saints — Not to all that are called God's people, but only to those who are truly such.

Verse 9

[9] Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

His salvation — That compleat salvation for which all the Israel of God wait; even the redemption by the Messiah; of which not only Christian, but even Jewish writers understand this place; and to which the following passages properly belong. And the psalmist might well say this salvation was nigh, because the seventy weeks determined by Daniel were begun.

Glory — The glorious presence of God, and the God of glory himself, even Christ, who is the brightness of his father's glory.

Verse 10

[10] Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Kissed — That great work of redemption by Christ, shall clearly manifest God's mercy in redeeming his people Israel, and in the conversion of the Gentiles; his truth in fulfilling that great promise of sending his son, his righteousness in punishing sin, on his son, and in conferring righteousness upon guilty and lost creatures; and his peace or reconciliation to sinners, and that peace of conscience which attends upon it.

Verse 11

[11] Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Truth — Truth among men.

Righteousness — And God's justice shall be satisfied: he shall look down upon sinful men with a smiling countenance.

Verse 13

[13] Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

Before him — As his harbinger. He shall fulfil all righteousness, he shall satisfy the righteousness of God, and shall advance righteousness and holiness among men.

Set us — Shall cause us to walk in those righteous ways wherein he walketh.