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Psalm 85:1-13 REVIVE US AGAIN
Intro: Ill. We know neither the author nor the background for this Psalm. Most scholars believe that it was written just after Israel returned from captivity in Babylon. Israel had been sent to Babylon for seventy years as punishment for their sins against the Lord. Now, they have been restored to their land, but their hearts are still not where they need to be. The nation has experienced restoration, but it stands in great need of revival.
I think Israel’s situation parallels ours to a degree. We have been saved by the grace of God and delivered from the penalty of our sins. We have been blessed beyond words, but we are not where we need to be with the Lord. Just like ancient Israel, the church stands in need of a revival.
Right in the very heart of this Psalm, there is a plea for God to send His people a revival. The word “revival means to refresh; to restore to live; to live prosperously. Revival supposes that there has been life in the past, but now there is a need for a refreshing, a restoring of that life. When life is refreshed and restored, those who are revived will live on a higher, more prosperous level.
We need revival! I need revival! Everyone here needs revival! We need some things refreshed and some things restored. This Psalm gives us a little insight into what real revival involves. I want to take these verses and preach on the subject of: Revive Us Again. I want to point out the three steps the Psalmist took in his quest for revival.
I. v. 1-3 THE PSALMIST REMEMBERS THE PAST
(Ill. He looks back on where they were and what the Lord had done for them. He strikes a note of praise because of the blessings if the Lord in the life of Israel.)
A. v. 1 He Remembers Their Captivity He remembers the years of exile in Babylon. (Ill. The need to remember where we came from, Isa. 51:1; Eph. 2:11-12. Ill. Don’t glorify the devil, but take a moment to remember where you were; what you were and where you were headed when the Lord saved you!)
B. v. 1-2 He Remembers Their Cleansing brought back Idea of going after and returning to rightful place Ill. Good Shepherd Luke 15:3-7. “forgiven to lift up and bear away. Their iniquity (bent or crooked) has been removed. Covered to conceal, to hide. Their sin (to miss the mark) has been hidden from view. (Ill. Do you remember when…?)
C. v. 3 He Remembers Their Conversion He remembers when God gave peace instead of punishment. He remembers when God turned His wrath away! (Ill. Do you remember when you first experienced His peace and you knew all was well between you and the Lord?) (Note: Remembrance is one of the first steps on the path to revival, Rev. 2:1-7.)
II. v. 4-7 THE PSALMIST REFLECTS ON THE PRESENT
(Ill. While they had much to be grateful for, there was still room for improvement! Israel was back in the land, but they weren’t completely right with the Lord. The Psalmist speaks of their condition.)
A. v. 4-5 There Is A Need For Repentance turn us translates the same word as brought back in verse 1. God had brought them out of captivity, but all was not well in their hearts. This is a confession of a need for repentance in the lives of God’s people. The Psalmist uses the word “us. He is speaking of a need for national repentance. But, national repentance begins with personal repentance. (Ill. There is still a need among Gods people for repentance. We need to examine our hearts and deal with anything that isnt pleasing to the Lord Heb. 12:1-2.)
B. v. 6-7 There Is A Need For Revival The Psalmist pleads for revival. He understands that revivals do not come from men, methods and messages; revivals come from God. A revival is a sovereign move of God among a spiritually ready people. There is a need for revival in the nation, Ill. “us. Revival will not begin on a national level; it will begin in individual hearts and lives. (Note: What would a real revival look like? Not emotionalism, not strange occurrences, (Laughing, barking like a dog, rolling on the floor, tongues, falling out, etc.), even excitement. When real revival comes, there will be an overpowering sense of God’s presence, holiness, commitment, unashamed love for Jesus among the saved and deep conviction on the whole community. Revival will manifest itself among saints and sinners alike! Ill. Wesley, Whitefield, Finney, Edwards) (Ill. Can you remember when the things of God were more real than they are now?)
III. v. 8-13 THE PSALMIST RESTS IN A PLAN
(Ill. Having expressed the need for revival, the Psalmist settles on a plan of action. He tells us what he will do to seek the Lord for the revival he had his people need.)
A. v. 8 He Will Conform To God’s Word He will listen to the Word of God and he will live it out in his life. (Ill. That is a recipe for blessing!) (Ill. John 14:15; James 1:22)
B. v. 9 He Will Commit To God’s Ways God has a plan for living, those who are wise fear the Lord, find His plan and live it out! (Ill. The glory refers to the departed Shekinah glory. The glory may have departed, but it can return! Ill. Ichabod hasnt been written yet!)
C. v. 10-13 He Will Contemplate God’s Wonders He pledges to meditate on the Lord and His wonderful works. (Ill. Thinking about the Lord, Who He is and what He has done will stir your heart!)
1. v. 10-11 The Wonder Of His Grace are met together A hostile meeting! Mercy requests one thing; truth demands another! They are brought together by the grace of God. His grace allows righteous and peace to exist together! (Ill. A picture of what Jesus did at the cross, Col. 1:20)
2. v. 12 The Wonder Of His Goodness The writer believes that Gods people will enjoy the blessings of the Lord yet again. He knows the heart of God, and the heart of God is to bless the people of God. He believes the days of blessing and glory will return. (Ill. I believe that too! We will see the Lord do great things yet again, Ill. Acts 2:47!)
3. v. 13 The Wonder Of His Guidance God will lead His people to places of blessing, peace and power, if they will just follow Him. (Ill. He wants to bless us and use us more than we want to be blessed and used!
Conc: We need revival! We need it is our personal lives and in the life of our church. Our evangelist can’t bring it; singers can’t bring it; good wishes and fond desires will not bring it. What will bring revival? When we remember who we are and what the Lord has done for us; when repent of our sins; when we repeat the first works of the church; we will be in a position where God can send revival, Ill. Rev. 2:1-1; 2 Chron. 7:14. I want revival. How about you? Let’s seek God for more than a meeting! Let’s remember, repent and request a revival!