1. Why did the Psalmist ask God not to hold His peace?
“(1) Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. (2) For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head” (Psalms 83:1-2).
* “(13) The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. (14) I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. (15) I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools” (Psalms 42:13-15).
2. Who has taken crafty counsel against God’s people?
The enemies of the Lord as specifically noted in verses 6-11:“(3) They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. (4) They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. (5) For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: (6) The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; (7) Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; (8) Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah” (Psalms 83:3-8).
*The Philistines have shown that they are crafty enemies of God in times past (I Samuel 13:17-22).
* It was not uncommon for God’s enemies to join together against His people (cf. Isaiah 7:5-7).
3. What did the Psalmist want God to do to those who took counsel against God’s people?
“(9) Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: (10) Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. (11) Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: (12) Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. (13) O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. (14) As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; (15) So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. (16) Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. (17) Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish” (Psalms 83:9-17).
4. What did the Psalmist say would be the outcome if God punished His enemies?
“That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth” (Psalms 83:18).
*God shows who He is from time to time (Jeremiah 16:20-21 and Ezekiel 30:19).
5. How did the Psalmist feel about the tabernacle/courts of the Lord?
“(1) How amiable [loved; well loved] are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! (2) My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” (Psalms 84:1-2).
* “My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times” (Psalms 119:20).
* “I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah” (Psalms 143:6).
6. Did the Psalmist think that anyone that dwelt in God’s house would be blessed?
Yes: “(3) Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. (4) Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah” (Psalms 84:3-4).
*cf. Psalms 90:1 “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations”.
7. Where should man look for his strength?
God: “(5) Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. (6) Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. (7) They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God” (Psalms 84:5-7).
8. Did the Psalmist want God to hear his prayers?
Yes: “(8) O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. (9) Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed” (Psalms 84:8-9).
*To have God hear prayers, faithfulness is required (Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 15:29, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 1:10-18, Isaiah 59:1-3, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12).
9. Since the term “anointed” is used in Psalms 84:9, is it safe to say David penned this Psalm?
No, before we jump to the conclusion that it is David writing this Psalms based upon the term “anointed”, let’s recall that this term does not solely belong to David (I Samuel 15:1, I Kings 1:39, II Kings 11:12; 17, II Kings 23:29-30, etc.).
10. Did the Psalmist enjoy being in the tabernacle/temple of the Lord?
Yes: “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalms 84:10).
11. Who can count on the Lord’s providence?
“(11) For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (12) O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (Psalms 84:11-12).
12. Did the Psalmist remember the good God had done for them in the past?
Yes: “(1) LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. (2) Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. (3) Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger” (Psalms 85:1-3).
13. At the time the eighty-fifth Psalm was written, what was Israel’s spiritual status?
They were in sin since they were on the outs with the Lord (Isaiah 59:1-3): “(4) Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. (5) Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? (6) Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? (7) Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation” (Psalms 85:4-7).
* “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God” (Jeremiah 31:18).
* “(16) The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned! (17) For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim. (18) Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it. (19) Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. (20) Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time? (21) Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. (22) But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us” (Lamentations 5:16-22).
14. Did the Psalmist seem to realize that peace and salvation from God was contingent on their remaining faithful once He forgave them?
Yes: “(8) I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. (9) Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land” (Psalms 85:8-9).
*Colossians 1:23 and I John 2:24.
15. Is mercy connected to truth?
Yes: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalms 85:10).
16. What or who is the source of righteousness?
God: “Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. (12) Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. (13) Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps” (Psalms 85:11-13).
17. Did the Psalmist look to God in times of need?
Yes: “(1) Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. (2) Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. (3) Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. (4) Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (5) For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. (6) Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. (7) In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me” (Psalms 86:1-7).
18. Did the Psalmist realize there is no god like the God of heaven?
Yes: “(8) Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. (9) All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. (10) For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone” (Psalms 86:8-10).
19. What did the Psalmist want God to teach him?
“(11) Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name” (Psalms 86:11).
20. What was one reason the Psalmist was willing to praise God with all of his heart?
“(12) I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. (13) For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell” (Psalms 86:12-13).
21. Who rose up against the Psalmist?
“O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them” (Psalms 86:14).
* I am not saying this is the time this Psalm was written, but think about this verse in accordance with the point: “O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them” (II Samuel 17:14).
** This applies: “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalms 10:4).
22. What attributes does the Psalmist reveal about God’s character?
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalms 86:15).
* That doesn’t mean God just overlooks sin: “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Numbers 14:18).
23. What did the Psalmist request at the conclusion of the eighty-sixth Psalm?
“(16) O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. (17) Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me” (Psalms 86:16-17).