TEXT: Psalm 85:1-13 (esp. vv. 1-8)
READING: Psalm 51
SUBJ: A biblical method of applying to God for revival.
AIM: That we might desire and earnestly seek the Lord as we pray for revival.
INTR: The Psalmist addresses a need that we are experiencing even now. The answer to that need is not found in politics or in the “band-aids” often applied in contemporary religion.
1. Many things require that you fill out an application. We would apply to God for revival.
2. The past often holds the reasons that we should hope. And so, as we think of the biblical record, the testimony of history and our own early experiences we are reminded that something is not as it should be.
3. We must have within us a reason of hope: 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
THESIS: In seeking the Lord’s favor we must first acknowledge helplessness, if not offence, and then seek mercy.
I. See first that there is a reason for confidence (vv. 1-3)
1. We see from verse 1, that He has in the past looked with favor to His own.
2. This favor has been more than a mere gratuitous involvement. Salvation is the theme in both Testaments, and it looks to the blood of the Lamb.
1) Iniquity forgiven – mischief and perversity.
2) Sins are covered – Atonement accomplished -- (looks to habitual sin and sinning).
3. Wrath is taken away – this is propitiation – fierceness of His anger and holy indignation.
(Comment on: propitiation, expiation, redemption, sanctification, glorification)
II. A Pattern for Revival Praying (vv. 4-6)
1. Turn us. Jeremiah 31:18b …turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.
1) A basic and essential address toward God -- O God of our Salvation
2) “Cause” thine anger to cease. (We note that the anger spoken of here is not the same as the usage in verse 3. This is a matter of grief and indignation toward children.)
2. “Wilt thou?” continue to be angry. Is there an end? While trials and temptation are to be expected, coldness and indifference are not to be accepted with God or us.
1) Should we expect a return to His fierce anger (as in verse 3)?
2) Will it be this way from now on?
3. “Wilt thou not revive us again? (keep alive, give promise, let live, nourish up, preserve alive, quicken, recover, repair, restore…)
1) Thy people who are made so by redemption: 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2) “…may rejoice in thee.” That is to know full joy. See Psalms 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. AND See also: 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
3) A proper desire involves self. Hooker (puritan theologian) believed that self comes first. We must possess the benefit before we can be of benefit. Revival must begin in us.
III. The Substance of that which is desired is mercy (vv. 7-8)
1. All that we have or ever shall have is grounded in mercy and we desire the ability to experience mercy.
2. We pray that He grant us His salvation. We should desire the full benefit of His purchase including: liberty, deliverance, prosperity, and safety.
3. In verse 8 we find the commitment to compliance that must be in place where we ask. We are not as those at Sinai that trusted their own ability. We seek that which He alone provides.
4. Take note of that which follows in verses 9-13.
1) Salvation that is nigh
2) Mercy discovered in Christ
3) The promise of truth and righteousness
4) Righteousness goes before Him and we are set in the way of His steps.