Our Land Will Yield Its Bountiful Harvest

12 Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
13 Righteousness goes as a herald before him, preparing the way for his steps.
Psalm 85:12-13 (NLT)

Welcome to the last installment of my study on Psalm 85. By now you should have realize that there are 2 distinctive parts in this psalm. Part 1 is from Verse 1 to 9. It is about the writer’s original intention in his prayer. He wanted God to put aside His anger and deliver his people. The writer wanted his nation to be strong and prosperous again. Thus, he prayed this prayer and capitalized on God’s unfailing love for his prayers to be answered. Those who judge this prayer based on today’s religious standard will find it to be heretic. In the religious mind, anyone who prays for “unspiritual” things like health and wealth will be automatically labeled as being deluded by the Prosperity Gospel. Fortunately for us, God disagrees with them.

God was so pleased with this prayer that he put it into the Bible to be an example for us. Not only that, God had even inspired his prophecy in the second part of this prayer. Part 2 of Psalm 85 (from Verse 10 to 13), shows us God’s prophecy on his salvation plan. God sent Jesus to die for our sins. We have seen the some of the results of Jesus’ works at the Cross in Verse 10 and 11. In this article, we shall study in depth on the remaining 2 verses.

Verse 12 says: Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.

It mentions blessings and bountiful harvest. We have come to the material part of the Cross. The completion of Jesus’ works at the Cross causes the Lord to pour down his blessings. The term “pours down” implies there are going to be a lot. As Christians, we will not be blessed a little. We have so much blessing that the Lord has to pour it down. In case someone wants what blessing means, here is the definition from the Bible.

22 The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Proverbs 10:22 (NLT)

When God blesses us, we are rich and have no sorrow. Christians are supposed to be rich. If you happen to be a Christian and you are not rich (or not rich enough), stand up and claim your rights. It is never the will of God for Christians to be poor. So, get rid of the religious lie that says God wants you poor because God can still use the poor. The truth is, God can indeed use the poor but he has also poured down his blessings to the poor. A poor man who receives God’s blessings is no longer poor.

I like the second part of Psalm 85:12.

“Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.”

Our land will not only have harvest, the harvest will be bountiful. God is not just interested to make us rich. He wants us to be extremely rich. If you happen to be rich now, pay attention to God’s plan for you: He wants you to be richer and richer until you are extremely rich.

The phase “Our land” refers to our works, businesses, investments, ministries or anything that is owned by us. This means we need to have “our land” in order to receive the bountiful harvest from the Lord. Being blessed does not mean doing nothing, sitting on the sofa and expect money to fall from the sky. We have to work. We need to start moving. Only then, God will bless our works and cause us to prosper. If we do not work on “our land”, it will not yield its bountiful harvest.

This reminds me of the lepers I wrote about in the article “The Steps Of The Lepers” on 7 August 2008, where the lepers had to move and make the steps. Only then God magnified their steps and drove out the enemies. Likewise, we ourselves have to move forward. Find out what you can do and do it. If you are jobless, look for a job. If you are sick, take your medicine. If you have failed in your examinations, study and take the examination again. Give God some “land” to bless so that he can give you a bountiful harvest.

Psalm 85:13 says: Righteousness goes as a herald before him, preparing the way for his steps.

At first glance, I thought it refers to John the Baptist. However, John’s ministry began and ended before Jesus died at the Cross. So, John could not have righteousness that we have today during his ministry. The term “Righteousness” cannot be John the Baptist. It must be us, Christians. As Christians, we are the righteousness who go as a herald before him and prepare the way for his steps. This is our role.

We Christians are to make the way for Jesus’ Second Coming. This is also another reason why Christians need to be extremely rich. If you are struggling, working day to night to meet daily needs and making ends meet, you will never have the time to prepare the way for his steps. So, when we desire for abundant riches to come to our lives, we are not doing it for our personal comfort alone. We need them to prepare the way for the Lord. The operation on providing food, medicine, education and the Gospel to the poor is very costly. It takes a lot of rich Christians to finance it. I see myself as one of the financiers. How about you?

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Righteousness Smiles Down From Heaven

11 Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
Psalm 85:11 (NLT)

This article continues from yesterday’s version on the prophecy of the writer of Psalm 85. As I have mentioned earlier, the original intention of the writer was to pray for the restoration of his nation. He wanted his nation to be strong and prosperous again. God was so pleased with this prayer that He had not only put it in the Bible but also used it to deliver his prophecy. So, the guy who prayed the prayers in Psalm 85 had become a prophet unknowingly.

The lesson for us here is, we are free to pray for anything we like as long as we pray. Religious people like to create rules on what we can and cannot pray but God will never do that. In fact, if you are to follow those religious rules, you can throw away the Bible because the many prayers in it had violated those religious rules. For example, if you are to pray the prayers of Psalm 85, you will be branded as someone who is deluded by the “Prosperity Gospel” because the contents of this psalm is on asking God for prosperity.

The bottom line is, God wants us to pray. It does not matter if you pray wrongly or used the wrong words. God will not be offended and send you to hell if you happen to used insulting words on him. He is far greater than that. He still loves you. When we pray, we will be in communion with him. We will be giving him the opportunity to help us and correct our mistakes. Even your unspiritual prayers can turn spiritual in his presence, just like what happened in the prayers in Psalm 85.

The above verse is the second verse on the prophecy God had given to the writer. The first part says, “Truth springs up from the earth”. What does that mean? The only possible answer I can think of is the event of Jesus rose from the grave. The writer had made a tremendous breakthrough in his prophetic progress. He had even predicted the event of Jesus rising from the grave.

When Jesus died at the Cross, he died for our sins. He took all our sins on his body and took the punishments on our behalf. We will never be punished for our sins again because Jesus had taken all our punishments. Then Jesus died. He had to die because the wages of sin is death. He died our death so that we don’t have to die again. Death has no sting on us.

Three days later, Jesus rose from the grave. What is the significance of this event? The last part of the above verse tells us why: “and righteousness smiles down from heaven”. When Jesus rose from the grave, it means things are going to be fine. His sacrifice had been accepted and we are declared righteous in his sight. Righteousness smiles down from heaven.

We received righteousness from heaven. As I have mentioned before, we have Christ-Righteousness which comes form Jesus’ works at the Cross and not Self-Righteousness which comes from self performance. The term “smiles” implies God is delighted in us. He is not longer angry with us because all his anger had been consumed at the Cross. We are righteous and holy in his sight despite the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed.

The prophecy in Psalm 85:10-11 is our reality today. Jesus had died for our sins and rose for our righteousness. We have been made right with God. The mistakes that we have made and the sins that we have committed can never remove our righteousness because we are Christ-Righteous and not Self-Righteous. Take time to reflect on our present right standing with God. Your life will never be the same again.

Righteousness And Peace Have Kissed

10 Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!
Psalm 85:10-11 (NLT)

Welcome to my study of Psalm 85.As we have read in the earlier verses, Psalm 85 is a record of an engineer’s prayer for the restoration of the strength and prosperity of his country. This is the type of prayers that the religious people will love to hate. Anyone who prays similar prayers today will be automatically labeled as “Prosperity Gospel”.

Some people may want to point out to me that the profession of engineers did not exist at that time. So, I would like to clarify that when I call the writer of this psalm as an engineer, I am referring to his mindset. He had a positive and constructive mentality. This is the characteristic of an engineer. God himself is an engineer. Anyone who habitually spends quality time with God will develop such mentality.

In this article, we shall look into a spiritual breakthrough. I suspect this guy did not know the true meaning of Psalm 85:10. Somehow, God had piggy-backed his prayers to deliver a prophecy on the result of what Jesus did at the Cross. Why is that so?

If you read the above verse carefully, there is only one event that can fit perfectly into it – Jesus death at the Cross. The writer was describing the result of the Cross. His original intention was to plead to God to put aside his anger and restore his nation. Yet, God had chosen to use this prayer to deliver a prophecy. This tells us that our God is capable of enriching our prayers. So, we should pray more. It does not matter if your prayers are only on material blessings like the guy who wrote Psalm 85. He can use our prayers to enrich us spiritually.

Let me explain on why I call the above verse as a prophecy on the result of Jesus’ death at the Cross. It says, “Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed.” It describes the combination of two components:
1. Unfailing love + truth
2. Righteousness + peace

Let us study in detail. The love of God for us is unfailing. God has unfailing love for us. No matter how much we have failed or how many mistakes we have made, God still loves us. His greatest desire is to with us. However he is also the God of truth. The truth is the human race is tainted with sin since Adam and Eve decided to rebel against God. God and sin do not mix. There is no way in the natural for the members of the sinful human race to be united with the holy God. This is the truth.

At the Cross, Jesus solved this problem. When Jesus died at the Cross, he took the penalty for all our sins. Anyone who believes is righteous in the sight of God. We are no longer sinful because the blood of Jesus has washed us clean. Now that we have no sin and righteous in God’s sight, we are in position to be with God and receive his unfailing love.

The second part of Verse 10 says, “Righteousness and peace have kissed!” The moment believed in Jesus and receive him as our savior, we are declared righteous. We are Christ-Righteous and not Self Righteous. This means our righteousness comes from Jesus’ works at the Cross and not from our personal performance. Our righteousness is independent from our personal mistakes and sinful acts because it is through faith and not works.

Since righteousness and peace have kissed, we Christians have the peace from God. As I have presented in the earlier article, the term “peace” in Hebrew is different from the “peace” in English. The Hebrew word is “shalom” and this is what it means:

Strong’s Concordance 7965 – Hebrew Shalom ….. A word study in the New King James version for SHALOM says: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

So, “shalom” basically covers everything. Prosperity is a part of it. The writer had “stumbled” on the greatest prophecy of all time. God had used his prayers for the restoration of his country into a medium in delivering the prophecy on the result of Jesus ultimate works at the Cross.

Our Land Will Be Filled With His Glory

9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, so our land will be filled with his glory.
Psalm 85:9 (NLT)

Welcome to the series of my study of Psalm 85. In the above verse, we shall look at the positive attitude of the writer. He was convincing himself that God was about to deliver him and his nation. The term “salvation” refers to deliverance from the troubles he faced that time. His entire nation was oppressed by external forces and they were poor due to high tributes demanded by their oppressors. He longed for the days where this country was strong and rich. This was why he prayed the prayers of Psalm 85 to seek God to forgive his people and restore their fortunes.

Verse 9 shows that he prayed with a positive attitude. He prayed with confidence that the salvation of God is near. Does this sound familiar to you? Let me remind you of what Jesus said about prayers.

24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 (NLT)

As an engineer, I do not pray empty prayers. I pray for real results. I expect all my prayers to work. According to the Bible, there is only one condition for our prayers to work – pray in faith. In other words, we do not pray with negative attitudes. Otherwise, it is a waste of time. God expects us to believe that we will receive when we pray. Only then will we receive what we pray for. The writer of Psalm 85 did the right thing. How about you? Do you pray to fulfill a religious ritual? Or do you pray for results?

The subsequent part of Psalm 85:9 tells us the condition for God’s salvation.

“Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him” The following is the excerpt from my past article explaining the meaning of fearing God.

What is the fear of the Lord? Do we fear the Lord the way we fear monsters? If you are afraid of frogs, do you imagine God as a big frog in order to fear him? If God is to pay you a personal visit and say “hi”, will you scream and run away in fright like the characters you watch in the horror movies?

If you are to search the Bible, you will find that none of those people who had contact with God behaved like the characters in horror movies. They feared God but their fear was not the same as the horror movie fear. What exactly is the fear of God?

Let us examine the following verse:

10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
Matthew 4:10 (NLT)

The above were Jesus’ words when he was tempted by Satan to worship the latter. Jesus quoted the Scriptures and said, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”. If you check the footnotes in your Bible, it will tell you that Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:13. Let us see what it says.

13 You must fear the LORD your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name.
Deuteronomy 6:13 (NLT)

Notice the difference? Deuteronomy 6:13 never said anything about worshipping God. It speaks of fearing the Lord. Somehow, Jesus interpreted fear as worship. Therefore, to fear God is to worship God.

(End of excerpt.)

Therefore worshipping God will cause his salvation to be near.

The last part of Psalm 85:9 says, “so our land will be filled with his glory.” The salvation of the Lord will cause our land to be filled with his glory. What do you think your land will look like when it is filled with God’s glory. It must be a land of shalom. (I suggest you look to the previous article when I have shown the full meaning of shalom.)

It must be a place where people live in peace and prosperity. No one will die of hunger. Every child will go to school instead of working as slaves in factories, mines or brothels. Every sick person will get the necessary medical treatment. Every citizen will get to know the God who loves him. Such is the land filled with God’s glory.

Words Of Shalom

8 I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways.
Psalm 85:8 (NLT)

Welcome to the third installment of my study of Psalm 85. In the earlier installments, we have read about the prayers of an engineer who knows how to make use of God’s love to bring prosperity to himself and his nation. It seemed that the nation of Israel or Judah must have sinned against God. As a result, they suffered oppression and poverty. The engineer wanted God to restore the strength and prosperity of his nation by capitalizing on God’s goodness and love. Thus, he prayed the prayers in Psalm 85.

At the same time, he must have realized that asking and trusting God for his deliverance and prosperity alone is not enough. He had a role to play in his path toward his prosperity. Verse 8 tells us that he intended to listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying for he speaks peace to his faithful people. We are to listen to God. Just because we pray and believe we receive, it does not mean that we can shut ourselves from God after we pray.

Why not? God could have answered our prayers in the form of words. For example, God can answer your prayers for prosperity by directing you to a place where you will meet someone who will offer you a high paying job. If you don’t listen carefully to God, you will never go to that place. You will not meet the person God had designated to offer you that job. You will not get that job and thus you will not receive your prosperity. It is not God’s fault that you are not prosperous. He answered your prayers. You just denied yourself the prosperity God wants you to have.

The second part of Verse 8 says, “for he speaks peace to his faithful people.” We need to listen carefully to God because he speaks peace to us. What is peace? In English, peace is peace. You can be poor, sick, living in defeat and still in peace. However in Hebrew, it is different. The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom”. Let us look at what is means.

Strong’s Concordance 7965 – Hebrew Shalom ….. A word study in the New King James version for SHALOM says: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

So, the “peace” in Psalm 85:8 covers everything. When you are in shalom, you are also in completeness, which include health and prosperity. So, each time you see the word “peace” in the Bible, remind yourself that it is the Hebrew shalom and not the English peace. The lesson for us here is, listen carefully to God because his words will bring shalom into our lives. Prosperity is a part of shalom.

The last part of Verse 8 says, “But let them not return to their foolish ways.” What are the foolish ways? Based on the context of the entire verse, the foolish ways must be the opposite of words of shalom God is saying to his people. This implies the freedom of choice. When God speaks the words of shalom to us, he wants us to listen carefully to him so that we can experience the life of shalom. However, he will never force us to do so. We still have the freedom to choose whether to obey or disobey him.

If we choose to obey, we will have shalom in our lives. If we don’t, we will have the opposite effect of shalom in our lives. So, it is not God’s fault if we are living in sickness, poverty and in defeat. We have to ask ourselves this question: Am I listening to the words of shalom from God?

In conclusion, the words of God brings shalom into our lives. If you truly desire to have shalom, make sure you listen to God. Pray, listen to faith messages, read the Bible and do whatever you can to get the words of God into your heart if you truly desire to have shalom in your life.

The Unfailing Love Of God

3 You held back your fury. You kept back your blazing anger.
4 Now restore us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us once more.
5 Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
6 Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation
Psalm 85:3-7 (NLT)

I am continuing in the series on Psalm 85. In this article, we shall zoom into a specific characteristic of God which the writer was trying to take advantage on in the above verses – his unfailing love.

Verse 3 speaks of God’s anger and fury. The truth is God can get angry. I am sure religious churches will stop here and use this to threaten their members into obedience. However, this is not the message in this verse. God may have anger and fury but his love for us is far greater than his anger and fury. What does this mean to us?

No matter how many mistakes you have made or how much have you messed up your life, God will never show his anger to you. We must never avoid God as though he is still angry with us. We must always see him as the solution and not the source of our problems. Whenever we make any mistakes, we can go to him and expect him to comfort and help us. He is always on our side and never shows us his anger. The idea of God unleashing his fury on us for any reason is a lie from religion.

In Verse 4-7, the writer was pleading to God for the restoration of his people. Let us study in detail.

Now restore us again, O God of our salvation.
Psalm 85:4 (NLT)

I like the word “again”. This means God had restored his people and he will do it again. The writer must have known of God’s track record for him to pray such prayers. The phase, “God of our salvation” tells us that the writer saw God as the source of his salvation, not condemnation nor oppression. God is our savior. He saves and delivers us from every oppression and bondage. He is not our oppressor. He is not the pervert who goes around making people poor and sick. Religious people may have problems understanding such simple engineering truths but not Christians. Our God is a God of our salvation. He had restored us before and he will do it again.

Put aside your anger against us once more.
Psalm 85:4 (NLT)

This verse was written before Jesus died at the Cross. The sins of the people were covered by animal blood. Animals’ blood can only cover, not cleanse sins. As such, the anger of God was still there. This was why the writer pleaded to God to put aside his anger in order for God to bless him and his people. He knew God would not remove his anger. He definitely knew his way to get rich. This is a great lesson for us.

If those people under the Law could be blessed, how much more are our blessings as Christians? Their righteousness was from the regular sacrifices of animals but ours is from the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son. They could plead for God to set aside his anger. We don’t even have God’s anger anymore. At Cross, God poured out all his anger to Jesus. Jesus took the penalty of God’s anger on our behalf. This means God will never be angry with us. He has no more anger.

Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
Psalm 85:5 (NLT)

Poor folks. They had to endure God’s anger when they made mistakes but the writer sure knew his way. Such questions show that he knew God will never be angry forever. Even in those days where Jesus had not died for their sins, God was still very merciful to his people. No matter how many mistakes they have made, God had never allow his anger to last for long. His greatest desire is to bless and not to curse his people.

6 Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation
Psalm 85:6-7 (NLT)

Look at how this guy is pleading. He was taking advantage of God’s unfailing love in order to have God to put aside his anger and restore his people. This guy knew how to capitalize on God’s love. God’s desire is always to show his unfailing love to his people and his people to rejoice in him. The writer must be an engineer. This is how God wants Christians to behave. Read the Bible and learn how good and loving our God is. Make use of them in order to live the life he wants us to live- prosperity in every area in our lives.

God gave us the Bible for us to bring prosperity into our lives. It gives him glory when we use the Bible for our prosperity. The Bible is never meant to be a theology book. It is purely engineering. Each time you pick up a Bible, you need to remind yourself that you are holding an engineering book that was designed to bring prosperity into your life. Reading the Bible will never be the same again.

The Lord Pours Down His Blessings

1 Lord, you poured out blessings on your land! You restored the fortunes of Israel.
2 You forgave the guilt of your people—yes, you covered all their sins.
Psalm 85:1-2 (NLT)

Psalm 85 focuses on asking God for restoration. The Israelites had experienced roller-coaster rides in their relationship with God. Each time they rebelled against God, they blocked their own blessings. As a result they were oppressed and became poor. However, when they turned toward God, God made them strong and rich again. Psalm 85 was written at the time where Israelites were under the state of oppression and poverty. It was written by an Israelite with the purpose of asking God for forgiveness and the restoration of the nation’s fortunes.

I am sure many of us can relate to the above scenario. We made mistakes. Some of these mistakes can include disobeying God for the sake of pursuing our own path to prosperity. As a result, we got into trouble and become poorer instead. If you happen to be in this situation, God is telling you that it is not over. There is still hope. He is still willing to help you and restore your prosperity. The only issue here is, are you willing to submit to him, trust him and let him guide you? If you do, he will fulfill his promise in giving you the prosperity you desire.

Let us look at what the psalm says. It begins with asking God for blessings and forgiveness.

What does this means to us? First, we need to acknowledge the fact that God has poured out blessings on our land. The term “poured” implies abundance. There is a huge difference between picking up pieces of gold and pouring out gold. He is the restorer of our fortunes. Our God is the God who brings prosperity to his people. He will never cause people to be poor. Poverty is not his nature. God does not believe in the Vow of Poverty. The idea of sometimes God wants you to be poor because he can use the poor, is nothing more than a lie from the pit of hell. It is a lie designed to keep Christians poor. It is the perfect will of God for all his people to be rich. He poured out blessings to our land.

Verse 2 says he forgave the guilt of his people and covered all their sins. Why cover sins? At the time this psalm was written, Jesus had not come to die for our sins. So their sins could only be covered and not removed. Only the blood of Jesus can remove sins. Those people under the Law could only rely on the blood of animals to cover their sins. The difference between us Christians and the writer of this psalm is, our sins have been removed while his sins had to be covered by regular animal sacrifices.

Here is the good news. If those people in the past, could have the Lord pouring out blessings to them (when their sins were just covered by the blood of animals), how much more for us Christians, when all our sins are now permanently removed by the blood of Jesus? If we Christians are to have the same level of blessings as they are, it will mean Jesus’ blood is at the same level as the blood of animals. It is like saying Jesus is like an animal. That is blasphemy.

As Christians we should have more prosperity than them because our Jesus is far greater than their animals. So, whenever we read about the blessings of the people under the Covenant of Law, we should always remind ourselves that our blessings must be greater than theirs or we would have committed blasphemy.

In conclusion, we are on higher ground. Jesus did not die for our sins for us to continue to live in defeat, discouraged, sick and poor. Since all our sins have been permanently removed, we are entitled for the greatest prosperity God has for his people. So, rejoice and be glad for great is our blessings. Live each day expecting great blessings to come into your life.