|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
85:1-7 The sense of present afflictions should not do away the remembrance of former mercies. The favour of God is the fountain of happiness to nations, as well as to particular persons. When God forgives sin, he covers it; and when he covers the sin of his people, he covers it all. See what the pardon of sin is. In compassion to us, when Christ our Intercessor has stood before thee, thou hast turned away thine anger. When we are reconciled to God, then, and not till then, we may expect the comfort of his being reconciled to us. He shows mercy to those to whom he grants salvation; for salvation is of mere mercy. The Lord's people may expect sharp and tedious afflictions when they commit sin; but when they return to him with humble prayer, he will make them again to rejoice in him.
Verse 6. - Wilt thou not revive us again! literally, wilt thou not return and revive us? (comp. Psalm 71:20). So Ezra prays God to "give Israel a little reviving in their bondage" (Ezra 9:8). That thy people may rejoice in thee. The "revival" and "rejoicing" came in Nehemiah's time, when the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem was kept "with gladness, both with thanksgiving, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps" (Nehemiah 12:27).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wilt thou not revive us again,.... Their return from the Babylonish captivity was a reviving of them in their bondage, Ezra 9:8 and the conversion of them in the latter day will be a reviving them again, be as life from the dead; they are like the dry bones in Ezekiel's vision, or like the dead in the graves; and their being turned to the Lord will be a resurrection, or quickening of them, as every instance of conversion is; see Romans 11:15, men are dead in trespasses and sins, and they are quickened by the Spirit and grace of God, so that they revive, and live a life of sanctification; they are dead in law, and find themselves to be so, when spiritually enlightened; when the Spirit of God works faith in them, to look to and live upon the righteousness of Christ for justification; and who, after spiritual decays, declensions, and deadness, are revived again, and are made cheerful and comfortable by the same Spirit; all which may be here intended:
that thy people may rejoice in thee; it was a time of rejoicing in the Lord, when the Jews were returned from their captivity in Babylon; but their future conversion will be matter of greater joy, both to themselves and to the Gentiles; everlasting joy will be upon their heads, and in their hearts, when they shall return to Zion, Psalm 14:7 and so is the conversion of every sinner joyful to himself and to others; such rejoice in Christ, in his person, blood, and righteousness; and every view of him afterwards, as it is a reviving time, it fills with joy unspeakable, and full of glory: the Targum is,
"and thy people shall rejoice in thy Word;''
Christ, the essential Word.
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