Righteousness and Peace have kissed

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Devotional Word for Thursday, April 2, 2020

Let’s begin today by looking at Psalm 85:10. It’s a fascinating verse. Here’s what it says:

Mercy and truth have met together
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

In this verse two irreconcilable realities are reconciled. Now we know that’s not possible. Either we misunderstand what “irreconcilable” means or we don’t understand what the terms mean. I recognize that such is the case, nonetheless, I want to show you that what is impossible does, in fact, happen. The irreconcilable are reconciled.

Mercy is best defined this way: “pure, undiluted forgiveness with no strings attached whatsoever.” Truth is best defined this way: “principles of reality that are not subject to change or distortion – ever.” The way this works out in practical living might be something like this: I steal an ink pen from my cousin. Truth insists – rightly – that I am a thief. That is a reality that cannot be changed. Mercy forgives me, no strings attached. Thus, I am forgiven, but I remain a thief. I know that I am a thief, regardless of mercy given to me. 

That sets the stage for the second line of this verse, where righteousness and peace kiss one another! We as humans have no peace in our souls because the demands of righteousness are driven by truth and I know I am a thief. No righteousness, no peace. How in the world can they ever embrace and kiss one another? It’s like oil and water, they do not mix.

But the Bible says they do. In fact, not only do they mix, they embrace and kiss. How is that possible. Here’s the answer: they do so in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 5:21 to see what I mean. Here’s what that verse says: He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Here we are told quite clearly what God can do with irreconcilable facts. Jesus knew no sin, had no sin, and was sinless. Yet God made Him to be sin. That’s impossible, unless God does it. And the text says that God did this “on our behalf. 

The practical reality of this is that Jesus took my sin of stealing, my identity as a thief, He took it to the cross on Golgotha. In that action my sin and my sins and all their consequences are removed from me. The verse doesn’t stop at that point in the action, though. It goes on to say that we become the righteousness of God in Him, that is, Christ. 

The practical reality of that is that I now have attributed to me the attitude and actions of the Lord Jesus, that is, that rather than coveting, I give thanks, and rather than stealing, I give. Why is all this attributed to me? Because of the Lord Jesus. By the gift of faith I am in Christ, united to Him. It’s faith that connects me to Christ Jesus and all His benefits. 

Remember when Jesus told the disciples how difficult it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? They asked, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus’ answered them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matt. 19:23-26] The One who said that was the One who made the impossible possible; He was the One who reconciled the irreconcilable. In Jesus the truth of God and the mercy of God are perfectly matched, so that the righteousness demanded by God and the peace of soul that humans long for and need, embrace and kiss. 

Psalm 85:10 is wonderful, prophetic picture of the work of Christ in the human soul. This is worthy of our contemplation today. Did I steal the pen from my cousin? Yes, I did. Am I a thief? Yes, I am. But in Christ all that is taken away. I can stand before God with joy and confidence because of what Christ has done for me. 

How about you. Have you seen mercy and truth meet together? Have you experienced the reality of righteousness and peace kissing one another? If you are in Christ, then you have. If you are in Christ, then it is good to contemplate the irreconcilable being reconciled. It is God who makes sinners into saints.

Let us pray: O God, the wonders of Your working are beyond our comprehension! We are grateful for the glimpses of Your glory that You grant to us. We know we are sinners, but we praise Your name that You have made us to be part of Your people. We love You and call upon You. Continue Your good work in us this day and each day of our lives. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.