Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13 (NRSV)
Verse 1Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
Verse 2You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah
Verse 8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Verse 9Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
Verse 10Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Verse 11Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
Verse 12The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Verse 13Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
As you read today’s psalm, let your imagination play with the way this beautiful ancient poem’s imagery works. God’s work is all around and bombards the psalmist with God’s goodness. God’s voice comes from outside, and it echoes in the hearts of those who reflect with the psalmist. Abstract concepts like love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace are meeting and embracing. In one verse, we even get an image of them shooting up from the ground like new plants and “looking down” from the sky like rain—they will come together and make life and growth possible.
Can you recall a time in your life when your circumstance felt so entirely rich with blessings? We certainly don’t always feel that way, but it’s helpful to remember the sensations and emotions that come along with those rare moments.
O Lord, we wait for the shoots that spring from the ground to remind us you are at work to bring new life into this world. In the faithfulness and forgiveness that we know through your Son, we turn our hearts to you today, knowing that you give what is good. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.