Count Your Blessings
“Show us Your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us Your salvation” (Psa. 85:7).
Read Psalm 85
1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIf the story of your nation’s relationship to God was told in song, what would it say?
Here is a song for anyone who’s experienced loss, whether of home or heart. Thought possibly to have been written on the return from exile in Babylon, there is certainly a sense of the hardships that God’s people have experienced. Verse 12 may even refer to the drought predicted in Haggai 1:5–11. Despite this, the psalmists (named here as Korah and sons) begin their song of worship by counting their blessings (1–3).
There are hundreds of Hebrew prayers—many of them in the Bible—that begin with the words “Blessed art thou…” In Jewish rabbinical literature it even says, “If you enjoy something in this world without saying a blessing, it is as if you stole it.”
So what kind of blessings does this song recount? Korah and sons are thinking big. They’re not just singing about God’s good gifts to them in their own personal lives. They’re singing about the nation’s blessings.
What blessings has God given your nation? Does your church sing praise to him for them? It’s not a matter of triumphal patriotism—as this psalm clearly shows—but a way of worshipping that puts God in his rightful place, purifying a people’s aspirations, showing their need of him and expressing appreciation for the times he’s rescued them.
Make up a tune for one of the verses of this psalm and sing it to the Lord as you go about your day!
Lord, You have promised peace to Your people. Help our nation to remain faithful to You that Your glory may dwell in our land.