Little eyes, ears, and minds can sometimes give us a fresh perspective on concepts we have grown used to. So it was one morning when I asked our 7-year-old what the fear of the Lord meant to her. Her pure answer came as quite a surprise to me. “The fear of Yahweh is Abba having the might and ability to kill us instantly but Him choosing not to kill us because He loves us.”
I was utterly astounded by her insightful perspective. Yes! That is it! Yahweh holds within His very thoughts, hands, and words the ability to end our lives in this very minute, but He extends Mercy and Love. Mercy and Truth, being in perfect harmony, is part of the nature of Who our God is.
To understand the core of our Creator’s character, this perspective is vital. For He cannot be merciful without being our righteous Judge, reigning in Justice and Truth. Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of His throne but before His face goes Mercy and Truth (Psalm 89). Within these words, spoken by Ethan the Ezrahite (who was known for being similarly wise as Solomon), lies a mystery. Mercy is gentle in nature, having compassion as a component and kindness wrapped around it. And then Truth being absolutely steadfast, having the ability to set captives free, being the essence of His Words, making it a firm foundation that cannot be changed. Yet, Jeremiah the Prophet out of his despair declares,
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.“
Lamentations 3:22 – 26 NKJV
His mercies are new.
His truth doesn’t change.
A captivating paradox of sorts.
Through the eyes of our three-year-old little boy, who is an early riser, this certainly rings true. Every morning as the birds started their morning musicalities, he opened the curtains and ran outside as soon as the door was unlocked. His little lips repeating, “Dis ‘n mooi dag!” (translated as “It’s a beautiful day!”). I would then ask him, “Who made this day?” And he would answer me with pure glee, “Abba!”
The exhilaration that beams out of this child’s face, as he beholds the day with a pure sense of wonder; this is exactly what Jeremiah was saying. His mercies are new! Fresh! Without any history, just yet. It is filled with hope and possibility. This day, as I’m writing this early on a spring morning, with the weavers singing joyfully in the big wild fig tree outside, is a gift from my Abba that He made new. That is part of His being. He longs to give us hope and a future and to extend mercy, just like any loving Papa would. From my parental heart, I can tell you that I long to have mercy on my little ones as often as humanly possible, without losing sight of the importance of being just and also having a firm hand in certain situations.
About 12 years ago, I read Psalm 89 for the first time. Between the lines, an image started to form of two Hands belonging to our Abba; one of the hands being firm, steadfast, holding a scepter as King in Truth and even weapons of war as our Redeemer. The other hand is gentle, slow to anger, rich in love, abounding in loving kindness and merciful. These are the same hands that formed Adam and wove you together in your mother’s womb. The same righteous hand that Isaiah spoke about:
Don’t be dismayed, for I AM your God.
I will strengthen you.
Yes, I will help you.
Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10 WEBBE
In Song of Solomon, we find this imagery further expanding into a fuller picture.
Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”
Song of Solomon 2:6 AMP
Close your eyes for a moment and picture your loving yet righteous Abba holding you in this way. You are held in both of His hands. Both sides are needed for this embrace and place of safety. It is within His Mercy and His Truth that we are safe. It is here where we can rest. It is like a firm and stable mattress with a comfortable, warm duvet. If you have both, your rest will be pleasant and restorative. But if you only have one of the two, you might sleep terribly uncomfortable on the floor, or you might shiver from the cold without the coziness of a duvet. Beloved, we need both sides of who our Abba is, both Mercy and Truth. Both lovingkindness and justice. We need Him to be slow to anger yet a Man of war who fights for us. We cannot just embrace one side of Him without beholding the other side. It is both His Mercy and Truth that preserves us (Psalm 61:7). It is within His Mercy and Truth that we find His paths (Psalm 25:10), yes, even His paths of Righteousness (Psalm 23:3). With Mercy and Truth around our necks, like a necklace, we can find favour with Yah and with men (Proverbs 3:3-4).
Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
The first time Truth is mentioned in scripture it goes hand-in-hand with Mercy. Let’s take a look at the context…
Then the man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His Mercy and His Truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.”
Genesis 24:26 – 27 NKJV
So what happened here? Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, was sent on a special quest to find a wife for Isaac. This quest’s success was vital to Abraham’s offspring becoming as many as the stars in the heavens. No pressure, hey! So on his way to Mesopotamia, he desperately prayed to Yahweh.
Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
Genesis 24:12 – 14 NKJV
Excuse the play of words, but Eliezer fervently understood that he could not Mess-up in Mesopotamia. And so Yah granted him his request. A lovely lady, who was part of Abraham’s extended family came to the well, and she did exactly as Eliezer prayed. Mercy and Truth met together and generations thereafter saw the blessing thereof. Eliezer went out with the fear of the Lord running through his veins and he found wisdom at that moment to know what to pray. It all ended well in a happily ever after with Isaac and Rebecca being united in marriage. Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death and twins were later born out of their marriage.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalms 100:5 NKJV
Truth in Hebrew is אמת emeth. The meaning thereof consists of firmness, faithfulness, truth, sureness, reliability, stability, continuance, and reliableness. These are all part of the character of Yah. In fact, Yeshua referred to Himself as being the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Later in John 17, He prays that we will be sanctified by the Truth. It seems like John had a very pertinent understanding of the concept of Truth, seeing as the word Truth features at least 22 times within the Gospel of John.
Here are some of the headlines of truth within his writings:
-You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free (John 8:32)
-I AM the way, the TRUTH and the Life (John 14:6)
-When the Spirit of TRUTH has come, He will guide you into all TRUTH (John 16:13)
-Sanctify them through Your TRUTH, Your Word is TRUTH (John 17:17)
-For this cause I came into the world that I should bear witness of the TRUTH. Everyone that is of the TRUTH hear My voice (John 18:37)
In some of John’s other writings he said this, “I have no greater joy than seeing my children walking in TRUTH.” (3 John 1:4)
And “Let us not love in word or in tongue but in deed and in TRUTH.” (1 John 3:18)
We ought to walk as He walked, in TRUTH.
But what about Mercy and our Messiah?
I love this and have written about this specifically in a previous post. Miracles are born out of His mercy and compassion. Numerous times those in need would ask Yeshua to have mercy on them. And when He did, healing took place.
Mercy in Hebrew is the word Chesed חסד. It can be translated as goodness, kindness, faithfulness and lovingkindness. All of these are attributes of who Yahweh is. It is this word that is used when Scripture says that it is His kindness that draws us to repentance.
Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Psalm 85:10 NKJV
Within Yeshua, Truth and Mercy met together. His truth sets free. His mercy brings healing. His truth sanctifies. His mercy draws us to repentance. Mercy and Truth are in perfect unity to accomplish the Father’s will. It guides us firmly yet gently.
Mercy and Truth is unwaveringly part of the very character of who Yah and Yeshua are.
Dear friends, may we seek His truth, yet be merciful in all of our ways. For with the same mercy we live, He will respond towards us. I don’t know about you, but I desperately need His mercy. I need His truth in equal desperation. May we become more and more like our Messiah, as we grow in maturity.
In Him we live
And have our being
When Mercy and Truth meet
The enemy suffers defeat
Two faithful witnesses
Found within wisdom’s seat
The one firm in nature
The other quick to nurture
Mercy being filled with kindness
Truth guarding us from blindness
Truth will sanctify
His mercy to satisfy
The longings of our being
Leading to true healing
His truth will guide us in His ways
It is steadfast and cannot be swayed
In Truth His word will be sent
His mercy causing our hearts to repent
The two united in a harmonious dance
Longing to give us a second chance
More Scriptures on Mercy and Truth:
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 5:7 NKJV
He shall abide before God forever. Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him!
Psalms 61:7 NKJV
Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Psalms 85:10 NKJV
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.
Psalms 89:14 NKJV
“O Lord, you are righteous, and all your works and all your ways are mercy and truth, and you judge true and righteous judgement forever.
Tobit 3:2 WEBBE
And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
Luke 1:50 NKJV
He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
Psalms 57:3 NKJV