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. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. ( Psalm 85:8-10)
Mercy and truth are pictured in this Psalm, as meeting together, as well as Righteousness and Peace greeting each other and Kissing. What does this imagery mean? In what sense do mercy and truth meet? Where and in what circumstances do Righteousness and Peace Kiss?
The LORD speaks these things, to his people. He speaks peace to them.
The LORD is Holy, Righteous and absolutely True.
Everything comes into the light of clarity in his presence. All that is false, dark, evil and hateful is exposed to His searching light of Truth. The LORD hates evil and is unceasingly opposed to it in all of it’s forms.
The same LORD is merciful, forgiving, slow to anger, and abounding in Lovingkindness and compassion. God is love. It is his will to reconcile, to make peace, and to stretch out a hand, even to his enemies.
Can you see the problem?
The people whom God loves, are weak, sinners, “prone to wander”, they have evil passions, lusts, and do things which He finds hateful. On the One hand the Righteousness of God would be to destroy the sinners. He must be consistent with himself, and execute judgment against all that is false, evil and corrupt. A Holy God can do no less!
But the Holy God is a God of Love. Love is his attribute also. How can God be both Holy and Loving? Must he jettison holiness for love? Or would he throw Love out to satisfy holiness?
What we asking, is ‘How can Righteousness and Peace met? How can God’s mercy and God’s truth meet together?’
Moses was given a Revelation of the person of God in Exodus 34, which expresses this dilemma clearly and makes no attempt to answer it,
And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.(Exodus 34:6-8)
How can the LORD be the one who “Forgives thousands, sin, iniquity and transgression”, while at the same time be the One who “By no means clears the guilty”? Mustn’t He do one or the other?
The answer is found in the Cross of Jesus. At the Cross of Jesus, God fully expressed all of his Righteous indignation against the sin of all of us. The Wrath of a Holy God expressed the Holy hatred against sin, our sin.
This Holy Wrath was poured out upon the One appointed to be our substitute, who hung between heaven and earth, taking full responsibility for the sins of the whole world. Jesus died for our sins. In this way the Righteousness of God was vindicated. No one can ever say, God looked the other way from human evil!
But the Cross is the Revelation of the LOVE of God, sending his own Son to suffer and die in our place, to reconcile us to Himself. God is Love, and Jesus is the expression of that Love.
The Father sent the Son, to be the Savior of the World.
The Cross is the one and only location, where this world can experience and come into the LOVE of God. God so LOVED THE WORLD, that He gave his only begotten Son.
We can know and believe in the Love God has for us, but only through the cross.
God, being who He is, Holy and Righteous, had to have a Righteous way to save humanity. He couldn’t merely “sweep our sins under the carpet”, and indulgently let us into his Kingdom. The price had to be paid, the demands of Justice and Righteousness had to be answered, God has to be both “Just and the Justifier, of this who believe in Jesus”.
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