Psalm 85:10 ‘Lovingkindness and truth have met together.’
Psalm 85:10 ‘Lovingkindness and truth have met together.’
What a word is this ‘lovingkindness’!!!! It is rendered from the Hebrew word hesed. In the King James Version, it has been translated mercy, and that is not wrong, yet it seems to miss so much of the fullness of the concept contained in the blessedness of the idea, or concept, of such a thing as lovingkindness. In my mind, one of the ‘premiere’ passages to be found in the Word of God employing this word is found in the thirty-first chapter of the prophecy of Jeremiah, and the third verse, where we may read with pleasure and excitement the promise given by God to His people. Allow us to set it forth in its fullness; we read:
Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, [listen now to these remarkable expressions], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
It is more, much more, than interesting that this is to be found in that very chapter which pronounces the magnanimous and glorious NEW COVENANT promise which is also iterated—reiterated is actually a duplication of terms, is it not?—in the epistle to the Hebrews, chapter eight, and verses eight through twelve;
Behold the days come, satih the Lord, That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; For they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, And on their heart also will I write them: And I will be to them a God, And they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, And every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; For all shall know me, From the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And their sins will I remember no more.—Hebrews 8:8-12.
But we inquire immediately, ‘just how is such a promise to materialize?’ and how can it be applied to those for whom God has made such a promise? We would have every warrant to appeal unto the eighty-fifth psalm where, in point of fact, the word lovingkindness to be found once and again. We may cry with the old Pharisee, Nicodemus, ‘how can these things be?’ and the answer that God the Holy Spirit returns with is here to be discovered wonderfully and plainly set before us; where we may read in the seventh verse, this appeal being made by the writer of this precious psalm, even when he cries out to God—remember that the psalm did begin with an appeal unto Jehovah, in saying;
Jehovah, thou hast been favorable unto thy land; Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
Further, in the seventh verse, is the plea lifted up to Jehovah, in heaven, and crying:
Show us thy lovingkindness, O Jehovah, And grant us thy salvation.
And are we not warranted to infer, especially since our imagined answer is found in this very same psalm; employing also the very identical terminology and word, namely, that of, lovingkindness? The writer had pled with Jehovah that He would show His lovingkindness to them, and can it be far from the mark to hold that Jehovah answered that plea with the promise given to His people that He would, surely indeed, respond ever favorably to that plea.
When we consider, once more, the covenant promise given just several verses later in this same chapter of Jeremiah; is there not wonderful warrant for such a connection being provided for that covenant promise? The promise was that the Lord would make a new covenant with His people. And, as we have already pointed out, the writer to the Hebrews, cited the same covenant promise as applicable to the children of God throughout the history of redemption. He points out to his readers and listeners that ‘we have such a high priest’ who has become our ‘better mediator’ because a Mediator of a ‘better covenant.’ Indeed, He is our ‘better covenant’ as it is written prophetically in Isaiah 42:6, where we may read this promise:
I, Jehovah have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.
Is this not the very language of the ‘Song of Simeon,’ the Nunc Dimittis; Now lettest thou thy servant depart, Lord,…For mine eyes have seen thy salvation? This he said as he took ‘his salvation’ in his arms, even the child, Jesus. He also included in this ‘Nunc Dimittis,’ the very words from Isaiah 42, A light for revelation to the Gentiles.
Putting these things together, may we not see that the One whom Jehovah gave for a covenant was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ? Yea, He is our covenant! And is it not Himself that the Father has sent to draw us back unto Him? Is He not indeed that lovingkindness of whom He has spoken to Jeremiah in the citation above? Is He not Himself the lovingkindness of Jehovah of whom He spoke; Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee?
Yea, is He not the very One for whom the psalmist was pleading in our Psalm, when he cried, Show us thy lovingkindness? And is He not therefore equally the One spoken of in the next few verses? Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other? He is the righteousness that hath looked down from heaven; He is the Truth that springeth out of the earth; of which He spoke in Psalm 40, Lo, I am come; in the roll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; Yea, thy law is within my heart.
David Farmer, elder
Fellowship Bible Church
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