Verse 10. Mercy and truth are met together. In answer to prayer, the exulting psalmist sees the attributes of God confederating to bless the once afflicted nation. Mercy comes hand in hand with Truth to fulfil the faithful promise of their gracious God; the people recognise at once the grace and the veracity of Jehovah, he is to them neither a tyrant nor a deceiver.
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The Lord whose just severity inflicted the smart, now in pity sends peace to bind up the wound. The people being now made willing to forsake their sins, and to follow after righteousness, find peace granted to them at once. "The war drum throbbed no longer, and the battle flags were furled;" for idolatry was forsaken, and Jehovah was adored. This appears to be the immediate and primary meaning of these verses; but the inner sense is Christ Jesus, the reconciling Word. In him, the attributes of God unite in glad unanimity in the salvation of guilty men, they meet and embrace in such a manner as else were inconceivable either to our just fears or to our enlightened hopes. God is as true as if he had fulfilled every letter of his threatenings, as righteous as if he had never spoken peace to a sinner's conscience; his love in undiminished splendour shines forth, but no other of his ever blessed characteristics is eclipsed thereby. It is the custom of modern thinkers(?) to make sport of this representation of the result of our Lord's substitutionary atonement; but had they ever been themselves made to feel the weight of sin upon a spiritually awakened conscience, they would cease from their vain ridicule. Their doctrine of atonement has well been described by Dr. Duncan as the admission "that the Lord Jesus Christ did something or other, which somehow or other, was in some way or other connected with man's salvation." This is their substitute for substitution. Our facts are infinitely superior to their dreams, and yet they sneer. It is but natural that natural men should do so. We cannot expect animals to set much store by the discoveries of science, neither can we hope to see unspiritual men rightly estimate the solution of spiritual problems -- they are far above and out of their sight. Meanwhile it remains for those who rejoice in the great reconciliation to continue both to wonder and adore.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. Mercy and truth; righteousness and peace. Note, four virtues stand out prominently in the incarnation; namely, mercy, truth, righteousness and peace, or love producing peace. These were like four steps of the throne of Christ, or four princes standing near and accompanying Him.
Verse 10. Mercy and truth; righteousness and peace. These four divine attributes parted at the fall of Adam, and met again at the birth of Christ. Mercy was ever inclined to save man, and Peace could not be his enemy; but Truth extracted the performance of God's threat, -- "The soul that sinneth, it shall die;" and Righteousness could not but give to every one his due, Jehovah must be true in all his ways, and righteous in all his works. Now there is no religion on earth, except the Christian, which can satisfy the demands of all these claimants, and restore an union between them; which can show how God's word can be true, and his work just, and the sinner, notwithstanding, find mercy, and obtain peace. George Horne.
Verse 10. This is a remarkable text, and much has been said on it; but there is a beauty in it which, I think, has not been noticed. Mercy and peace are on one side; truth and righteousness on the other. Truth requires righteousness; mercy calls for peace. They meet together on the way; one going to make inquisition for sin, the other to plead for reconciliation. Having met, their differences on certain considerations, not here particularly mentioned, are adjusted; and their mutual claims blended together in one common interest; on which peace and righteousness immediately embrace. Thus, righteousness is given to truth, and peace is given to mercy. Now, where did these meet? In Christ Jesus. When were they reconciled? When he poured out his life on Calvary. Adam Clarke.
Verse 10. Mercy and truth are met together.
Verse 10. When our Lord spake that parable of the prodigal son, and represented the Father as seeing his child afar off in his misery, and how he had compassion on him, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him, one cannot but feel what a touching and tender illustration he has given of this most exquisite passage of his own word: Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Barton Bouchier.
Verse 10-11. Mercy and Peace if they had met, or Truth and Righteousness, either of the two, it had not been strange. But for these that seem to be in opposition to do it, that makes this meeting marvellous in our eyes. Will you stay a little and take a view of the parties? Four they are. These four,
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The attributes displayed in man's salvation.
- Mercy in the promise.
- Truth in its fulfilment.
- Righteousness in the manner of its fulfilment.
- Peace in its results.
- These attributes harmonized in man's salvation.
- How? Met together -- kissed each other.
- Why? Each on its own account. All on each others' account.
- Where? Met and kissed,
- In the covenant.
- At the incarnation.
- At the cross.
- At the conversion of every sinner.
- At the completion of the saints in heaven. G. R.
Verse 10. The Pulpit, vol. 28, 1836, contains a sermon by R. W. Sibthorpe, in which the preacher,
- Considers the harmony of the divine perfections in
the redemption of a sinner.
- The wisdom of the divine dealings in the calling
and guidance of the believer; so that mercy, truth,
etc., each becomes in turn conspicuous in our
- The completeness of the divine image in the
sanctified soul, so that the perfected saint
abounds in mercy and truth, is filled with peace, and
is conformed to his righteous Lord.