Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Psalm 85 has an interesting view of time. God was favorable to his land. He restored his people. He forgave. He withdrew wrath.
In short, God already did all sorts of good for his people Israel. It's over. It's done.
This should be the end of the story. What more is there to expect? We really can't anticipate much more. God has shown his favor.
Did it last? From God's perspective it should have lasted. The work of God was completed.
Sadly, God's people are like sheep. We go astray easily. Sometimes it is by mistake, because like sheep we aren't all that smart. Sometimes it is on purpose, because like sheep we are easily frightened into not trusting our shepherd. We run away and try to escape.
What's the cry of the Psalm? Lord, restore us. We need to see your favor. We need your forgiveness. We need you to withdraw your wrath. We need you to speak peace to us.
At the end of verse eight we find confirmation of our tendency. The Psalm asks that God's people should be prevented from returning to their folly.
We can call out to God the same way today. Have we turned to folly? You bet. Do we endure times of trouble? Indeed. Do we need God to show favor? No doubt about it.
When God's faithfulness is springing up from under us and his righteousness is falling from the sky, we want to be right in the middle, between the two, like a sandwich. There, God will catch us with his favor. There, we can dwell in him.
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