1. The beginning of a new year is a good time to study Psalm 85.
2. We are especially interested in the subject mentioned in vs.6 -- "revival."
3. Before we answer 5 questions that relate to revival, let us first consider . . .
I. THE SETTING FOR PSALM 85
A. Some important events had occurred earlier in Jewish history.
1. Under David's leadership, Israel rose to a high level of power.
2. Israel reached its highest level of power and prestige under King Solomon.
3. Unfortunately, after Rehoboam became king, Israel divided into 2 kingdoms.
4. The northern kingdom was taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 BC.
5. The southern kingdom lasted until Babylon took control in 606 BC.
6. Jeremiah prophesied that Judah's captivity would last 70 years (29:10).
7. In 536 BC Cyrus conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews who so desired to return to
Palestine so the temple could be rebuilt.
B. This brings us to Psalm 85.
1. (vs.1) God had allowed His people to be released from captivity.
2. (vs.2) God had forgiven His people.
3. Although God had blessed His people, they still needed something very special.
4. (vs.6) They needed "revival."
II. QUESTION #1: WHAT IS "REVIVAL?"
A. Revive: "to return to life"
1. to be quickened, restored, or renewed
2. to restore vigor, strength, or a flourishing condition.
B. Several Bible characters illustrate the meaning of revival.
1. (Genesis 45:25-27) Jacob's spirit revived when he learned that Joseph was alive.
2. (Judges 15:18-19) After Samson killed 1,000 men he drank water that God provided, and he revived.
3. (1 Kings 17:21-22) Elijah prayed on behalf of a child who had died, and he revived.
4. (Romans 14:9) Following His death on the cross, Jesus rose and revived.
III. QUESTION #2: WHO IS THE SOURCE OF REVIVAL?
A. (vs.6) God is the source of revival -- "Wilt thou not revive us again?" (see Psalm 138:7a).
B. The writer of Psalm 85 expressed his confidence in God's ability to revive in vs.9-13.
IV. QUESTION #3: HOW DOES GOD BRING ABOUT REVIVAL?
A. Perhaps we can gain some insight from Psalm 85:8: "I will hear what God the Lord will speak."
B. We need physical nourishment on a daily basis (Matthew 6:11).
C. Let us remember that the Scriptures provide spiritual nourishment (Matthew 4:4).
V. QUESTION #4: WHO NEEDS REVIVAL?
A. (Psalm 85:6) "Wilt thou not revive us [God's people] again?"
B. To be more specific, God can revive those who are humble and contrite (Isaiah 57:15).
VI. QUESTION #5: HOW OFTEN DO WE NEED REVIVAL?
A. We need revival continually - "Wilt thou not revive us again?"
B. According to 2 Corinthians 4:16, we can be renewed inwardly on a daily basis