Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.Psalm 85:10(NASB)
Psalm 85 was written by an unnamed son of Korah, who had a real heart for Israel, and an understanding of God's plans and purposes for His chosen nation. The psalmist desired a complete revival and restoration for Israel, which can be seen throughout the prayer he offered.
He opened his song of praise and petition by thanking God for turning His burning anger away from His disobedient people, pardoning their sins, bringing the exiles home from their Babylonian captivity and restoring the fortunes of Jacob. But his opening hymn of rejoicing quickly turned to a pleading prayer and heartfelt petition for more of God's grace and mercy.
Perhaps the nation had failed to learn the lesson during their 70 year long exile in Babylon. Maybe they had started to fall into apostasy once again, and the psalmist recognised an ongoing need for spiritual revival and restoration among his people. He obviously longed for a time when righteousness and peace would reign on earth, and loving-kindness and truth would be established in the land.
His initial praise in the opening verses quickly turned back to an urgent petition for the Lord to "Restore us our salvation and cause Your indignation toward us to cease". He then poured out a series of questions to Israel's long-suffering God - "Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not Yourself revive us again, so Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your lovingkindness, O LORD", is his pleading prayer, "and grant us Your salvation!"
When a nation or individual is out of fellowship with the Lord or has backslidden into carnality or sin, that nation or individual finds they are estranged from God, and their joy in Him quickly evaporates. Only when a nation or individual confesses their fault before the Lord, can fellowship with our Father be reinstated.
Rejoicing in God our Saviour can never co-exist with unconfessed sin, and the psalmist clearly understood this. He admitted that it is out of love and grace that God's chastens and disciplines His erring children - "He disciplines those He loves..', just as He did when HE allowed His people to be sent into Babylonian exile. The psalmist made it clear in his prayer that he would listen obediently to the Lord's instructions, knowing that God in His grace would speak peace to His people.
As he brings his prayer to a close, the writer leaves us in no doubt that God is ready to hear the cry of His people, who trust in Him, for He is ready and willing to answer the prayer that is made in faith. The psalmist is confident that Israel will be delivered by God's grace, and that the Lord will speak peace to His elect. He believes that the glory of the Lord will once again dwell in their land, when lovingkindness and truth will have met together.. and righteousness and peace will have kissed each other.
What a good example this unnamed son of Korah has given all the people of God in Psalm 85, and what lessons we can learn from the words he penned and the attitude he fostered. He was quick to acknowledge the superabundant goodness and grace of God toward himself and his people, and was ready and willing to acknowledge that many perils lurk in the dark shadows of sin.
He was also a man who recognised the importance of prayer, praise and thankfulness and confessed that a righteous God must punish sin. He also expeditiously reminded us that there are many precious promises that God has given to His people that will come to pass in the end times.
He trusted the word of the Lord and was ready to testify that the salvation of the Lord is near to those who fear Him, and that a day is coming when the earth will be filled with God's glory, their Messiah will dwell in the land He promised to Israel - and mercy and truth meet together and righteousness and peace will kiss one another.
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the wisdom and encouragement we receive from the different psalmists and we thank You that a day is coming when Israel will be restored as Your special people and Your promises to them, and to the Church, will all be fulfilled. Thank You that Jesus is coming to rule and reign on earth, and that mercy and truth will be united, and righteousness and peace will kiss one another - thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.