Sunday, 27 May 2012

Mercy Above the Sceptred Way

Image via Mercy and Truth Blog

'Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our Land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.' (Psalm 85:9-11) 

Mercy and truth or mercy and justice are often very difficult to reconcile. They can often seem so contradictory. However, this what God has done in saving us. We deserve justice for our sins, but in God's Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, mercy triumphs. Praise the Lord for His great love and mercy! 

Oliver Cromwell
Psalm 85 was one of Oliver Cromwell's favourite psalms. He repeated it often in many of his speeches, especially the ones he gave at the end of his life. He often referred to it as he championed religious freedom (one of his favourite causes - even when he was attacked for it) and he clearly saw it as a vision for the spiritual welfare of his nation. He was very concerned that many Christians were often over zealous with the truth, being  self-righteous and concerned with justice bu with very little mercy for one another. That grieved him very much throughout his life. One cannot fail to see this when reading his personal letters and his public speeches.  In one of those speeches to one of his parliaments as Lord Protector, he encouraged the new MPs to apply this psalm to their lives and in their governing of the nation. He said:  
"Mercy and Truth shall meet together" [Psalm 85]. Here is a great deal of "truth" among professors, but very little "mercy"! They are ready to cut the throats of one another. But when we are brought into the right way, we shall be merciful as well as orthodox: and we know who it is that saith, "if a man could speak with the tongues of men and angles, and yet want that, he is but sounding brass and a tingling cymbal!" [I Corinthians 13:1] 
Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches: With Elucidations, (London: Chapman and Hall, 1894), Vol, IV of V, pp. 210-222. 
(Read full speech here)

We still need this today as Christians with one another, in the home and in Church, and with those around us. We must not hold onto justice and truth without mercy. I think this quote from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice puts it very beautifully: 

 Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I

Yes, Lord, gives us hearts of truth and mercy always. Help us remember that it is Your mercy that saves us. 

God bless,


Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah, Sarah, such a lovely thought about mercy and truth (and a lovely blog popped over there too) thanks so much for sharing have read a great biography some years back on Cromwell an amazing time and Psalm 85 is beautiful indeed, love in Him, Shaz.x

Sarah said...

Hi Shaz,
Glad this has blessed you, Miss you a lot.
God bless,

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