Psalm 85:8-9 –“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.”
The psalmist starts by acknowledging that God has restored his people, forgiven their iniquity, covered their sin, and withdrew his wrath from them. But, it appears that his people once again find themselves in trouble and facing God’s wrath once again. The psalmist asks God to put away his indignation. Will God be angry with his people forever. Is it God’s wrath? Or, is it those living by the sword dying by the sword? Is it our own evil coming back upon us?
This is where we get the quote above. When God’s people draw near to him, they hear the words of peace that he speaks. He speaks these words of peace to his people, to his saints. The world doesn’t hear these words of peace. Are you hearing God speaking peace (not just the absence of war, but safety, security, and provision for all) or are you hearing God speak vengeance, vindictiveness, and retribution?
I’ve been meditating on the repentant turning away from lies and murder, the things that mark Satan’s kingdom. And, here the psalmist says that God’s people cannot return to their folly. God’s people cannot return to their old, empty ways of lying and violence, evil, wickedness, and murder. His salvation is near to those who fear him. His salvation is near brings to mind Jesus’ statement that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, the kingdom of God is near. Instead of lies and murder, his kingdom is marked by truth and love, peace, joy, and righteousness. When God’s people enter into this, glory dwells in the land.