The Undivided One
In You, Lord, are wisdom, power, and tender mercy. Today, as I turn toward You, You have already turned toward me.
Read Psalm 85:1-13
 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Lord, I have heard of Your fame: I stand in awe of Your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).
The psalmist finds consolation and encouragement in exile by reflecting on the character of God made known in his past acts. God has been gracious in the past, so we look for that for the present and future.
The focus is on God’s glory. The psalmist pleads for the restoration of the people, for God’s anger to subside, and for a new beginningﾗbut the purpose is to “rejoice in you” (6). The psalmist’s desire is that God’s people should once again discover his quality of “unfailing love” (7), the Hebrew word hesed, sometimes translated “loving faithfulness.” It is a quality that is unique to God, for it indicates steadfastness, commitment, faithfulness and self-giving concern for the very best for his creatures. This longing has shaped his people ever since, finding its way into many prayers and hymns we use in worship today.
This leads to a remarkable depiction of what comes about when God acts. Although judgment has come, the first we hear from God is a word of peace (8). This comes to those who fear him (9), but not in the sense of earning God’s approval; rather, these are the ones who are ready to receive what he longs to give. His salvation is “near” (9a), anticipating Jesus’ own preaching about God’s kingdom, his just and righteous rule. When he reigns, his transcendent glory is made present on earth (9b). His hesed meets together with his “truth,” that is, he is true to himself and to his holiness. His righteous demands, which are often seen to divide people into the faithful and the disobedient, are joined with his peace, which draws people together in wholeness. Qualities that often sit uneasily together for us are united in the undivided One.
Does the congregation you belong to manifest steadfast love and faithful truth, righteousness and peace? What do you need to do to be more open to God’s shaping of you?
Loving Lord, so often I am a somnolent saint, sleeping on the job. Truly, I need to be revived again. Make me more alive in Christ.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.