“Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
Psalm 85:10 (KJV)
Have you ever tried to mix oil and water together? If you have, you know that they separate as soon as you cease stirring the two liquids.
When you carefully consider mercy (or grace) and truth, it is difficult to think of how these two notions can be friends. How can a holy God love and desire the company of sinners like ourselves? Why does God bother with those who clearly demonstrate indifference to Him? Why did Jesus pray that His executioners might find salvation? Why did Jesus call Judas Iscariot “Friend” in Gethsemane? Judas was about to commit the most heinous act in all history.
If we ever think that we are deserving of God’s attention we have no idea of what the Bible’s message is all about. God is constantly being portrayed as holy in Scripture and humanity is constantly being depicted as sinful. Frankly, we shall never know why this love of God for sinners caused Him to punish His beloved Son for our sins.
However, the fact of God’s love for the unlovable is also a major theme in the Bible. We believe God loves sinners because the Bible says so, not because it makes sense—because it doesn’t.
Our verse comes after the Psalmist wrote the following, Psalm 85:2-3 (NIV)
“You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.
You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger.”
But something went wrong in the Psalmist’s day and he wondered where God was. God seemed distant and constantly angry with the people so he asks the question, Psalm 85:5 (NIV)
“Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?”
You may have the idea that God has given up on you. Once you enjoyed wonderful prayer times and you loved to sing the Lord’s praise with His people and now your prayers seem hollow and vain. Your experience appears to be like that of the Hebrew nation. God seems to have turned away from you. If this is the case read and reread this Psalm. Get a good understanding on how this holy God has an undying love for sinners. Ponder the words of Charles Wesley when he wrote:
“My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.”
Never again doubt God’s love for you. Pray this Psalm until your heart is again at peace.