|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
85:8-13 Sooner or later, God will speak peace to his people. If he do not command outward peace, yet he will suggest inward peace; speaking to their hearts by his Spirit. Peace is spoken only to those who turn from sin. All sin is folly, especially backsliding; it is the greatest folly to return to sin. Surely God's salvation is nigh, whatever our difficulties and distresses are. Also, his honour is secured, that glory may dwell in our land. And the truth of the promises is shown by the Divine mercy in sending the Redeemer. The Divine justice is now satisfied by the great atonement. Christ, the way, truth, and life, sprang out of the earth when he took our nature upon him, and Divine justice looked upon him well pleased and satisfied. For his sake all good things, especially his Holy Spirit, are given to those who ask him. Through Christ, the pardoned sinner becomes fruitful in good works, and by looking to and trusting in the Saviour's righteousness, finds his feet set in the way of his steps. Righteousness is a sure guide, both in meeting God, and in following him
Verse 10. - Mercy and truth are met together. God's mercy and God's truth are reconciled and brought into harmony. The psalmist does not say - probably does not know - how, He accepts the fact of the reconciliation, which is revealed to him (ver. 8) by faith, and boldly announces it. The explanation was reserved for the coming and teaching of Christ. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. "Righteousness" and "peace" are synonymous with "mercy" and "truth." Here they are personified - "represented as angels in human form" (Cheyne).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Mercy and truth are met together,.... Or "grace and truth" (p), which are in Christ, and come by him; and so may be said to meet in him, the glorious Person, the Author of salvation, before mentioned, John 1:14, these may be considered as perfections in God, displayed in salvation by Christ: "mercy" is the original of it; it is owing to that that the dayspring from on high visited us, or glory dwelt in our land, or Christ was sent and came to work salvation for us; it was pity to the lost human race which moved God to send him, and him to come, who is the merciful as well as faithful High Priest, and who in his love and pity redeemed us; and though there was no mercy shown to him, he not being spared in the least, yet there was to us; and which appears in the whole of our salvation, and in every part of it, in our regeneration, pardon, and eternal life; see Luke 1:72, 1 Peter 1:3 or "grace", the exceeding riches of which are shown forth in the kindness of God to us, through Christ; and to which our salvation, in whole and in part, is to be attributed, Ephesians 2:7, "truth" may signify the veracity and faithfulness of God, in his promises and threatenings: his promises have their true and full accomplishment in Christ, Luke 1:72 so have his threatenings of death to sinful men, he being the surety for them, Genesis 2:17 and so mercy is shown to man, and God is true to his word:
righteousness and peace have kissed each other; as friends at meeting used to do: "righteousness" may intend the essential justice of God, which will not admit of the pardon and justification of a sinner, without a satisfaction; wherefore Christ was set forth to be the propitiation for sin, to declare and manifest the righteousness of God, his strict justice; that he might be just, and appear to be so, when he is the justifier of him that believes in Jesus; and Christ's blood being shed, and his sacrifice offered up, he is just and faithful to forgive sin, and cleanse from all unrighteousness, Exodus 34:6, Romans 3:25 and thus the law being magnified, and made honourable by the obedience and sufferings of Christ, an everlasting righteousness being brought in, and justice entirely satisfied, there is "peace" on earth, and good will to men: peace with God is made by Christ the peacemaker, and so the glory of divine justice is secured and peace with God for men obtained, in a way consistent with it, Luke 2:14 and Christ's righteousness being imputed and applied to men, and received by faith, produces a conscience peace, an inward peace of mind, which passeth all understanding, Romans 5:1.
(p) "gratia et veritas", Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. God's promises of "mercy" will be verified by His "truth" (compare Ps 25:10; 40:10); and the "work of righteousness" in His holy government shall be "peace" (Isa 32:17). There is an implied contrast with a dispensation under which God's truth sustains His threatened wrath, and His righteousness inflicts misery on the wicked.
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