“Won’t You revive us again,
so Your people can rejoice in You?
Show us Your unfailing love, O Lord,
and grant us Your salvation.”
Psalms 85:6-7 NLT
Why was the Psalmist asking God for a revival? Society’s relationships with God have waxed and waned over the centuries since Jesus walked this earth. A time of dryness is followed by a period of spiritual blessings before it dies back into a lethargic and Godless state again. It was obviously the same in the history of Israel, as we can tell from the Biblical writings in the Old Testament. What is there about human beings that they move away from the very One who can provide the life they need, only returning to Him when they hit an insurmountable problem? We have seen it particularly since the start of the Covid pandemic; churches that used to be well attended are now struggling to get going again because people have not returned to the pews. But so many people, secure in their comfortable lives, think to themselves, “Why should we connect with God again. What’s in it for me?” But Asaph, the writer of Psalm 85, boldly asks God the question – “Won’t You revive us again”? Why should God do that? After all, He created man with the option of free choice. Mankind can choose to accept or reject their Creator, should they so wish. And in the same way God has a choice, Asaph points out. If God revives us, he suggests, then His people will rejoice in Him once again. It’s almost a “chicken and egg” situation. But we know that if we reach out to God then we will find that He is there. Jeremiah 29:13 reads, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” I have a picture in my mind this morning of a man living in a room quite happily. There’s a door on the far side, but he doesn’t bother about it. Not even curiosity will drive him to open it. But until he does, he won’t find the wonderful world, God’s world, that exists on the other side. No more walls defining his limits. Just a limitless world filled with our limitless God. And the door isn’t even locked.
Asaph asks God to take the initiative. He asks God to revive us so that His people, us, you and me, can experience once again a wonderful relationship with our wonderful Heavenly Father. Asaph gives God the excuse for revival – “so Your people can rejoice in You”. I pray that prayer as well this morning. If there is ever a time when our world needs to rejoice in God it is today.