Psalm 85:10: “Mercy and truth have met together; / Righteousness and peace have kissed.”

December 28th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

We should stop and think a moment about how difficult it is to get both mercy and truth together at the same time. Truth is reality, without error or hypocrisy; but mercy is overlooking error and hypocrisy. We human beings seem to lean toward one extreme or the other: mercy or truth. The psalmist put another two seemingly contradictory concepts together in the second half of the verse. The Hebrew word here for righteousness is also often translated justice. Righteousness suggests inflexible justice; God is no respecter of person. He holds everyone to the same standard (Acts 10:34). The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means physical, mental, and spiritual peace; a perfect unity and harmony within the whole creation. Peace is not possible without justice, and justice is not possible without peace. It only happens in Jesus Christ.

There is an ancient legend about a king named Zalukas, who saw that adultery had the potential to destroy a society. Therefore, for the good of his kingdom, the king outlawed adultery. And since laws are not respected or regarded unless they have consequences, he assigned a very severe penalty for those who violated the law: those found committing adultery would have both eyes removed by a hot poker. For a while no one broke the law. But eventually a man was caught committing adultery and was brought before the king. He was the king’s own son, the prince of the kingdom. The king was in a dilemma. On the one hand, he wanted to maintain his law. If he didn’t execute the penalty, the law would be worthless. But on the other hand, he cared about his son and wanted to forgive and show mercy. How could he do both? How could he show mercy to his son and at the same time uphold the authority and influence of his law? The king had one of his son’s eyes removed. And then, instead of having his son’s second eye removed, the king sacrificed one of his own eyes. In this way, he found a way to show mercy and also uphold the law. Mercy and truth met together. As time went on, whenever the subjects of the kingdom saw the king or the son, they would be reminded of both how much the king loved his one-eyed son and how important the law was to the one-eyed king. In much the same way, God offered His own Son to make atonement for our sins, but instead of splitting the punishment with us, He took it all.

“LORD, You are the only wise God. Help us to live in Your wisdom today.”