Listen to this devotional:
Psalm 85:10-12 – 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. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. (KJV)
"Truth shall spring out of the earth…"
As of this moment, tips of tulips, crocuses, grape hyacinths, hyacinths, daffodils, narcissuses, and irises announce their abandonment of winter's hibernation, peeking proudly through rich soil. Green spears stretch ever skyward. Meanwhile, buds on trees tempt us to think that spring's arrival is a done deal.
On the contrary, our local weather person prognosticates another spring storm on the horizon. The television radar image threatens mixed precipitation in shades of hot pink. My neighbour direly predicts, "We've not had the onion snow, yet."
Tell that to the robins singing their serenade!
The psalmist loved to sing, too. That's what a psalm is, a song sung over two thousand years ago. These songs, like ours, were about what mattered to people. The earth bearing a rich harvest was important to them. Thus the psalm writer sang a song stating that God's presence would ensure that blessing. He also believed that some of the blessings were tied to people's upright lives. God, who is Righteousness personified, notices from heaven, and blesses.
Contrary to modern ideas that tout lying, cheating, and manipulating as ways to get ahead, the psalmist proclaimed that God's reality is real, as opposed to the sort of "reality" we see on television. God is, and God notices. The Lord notices when truth, honourable living, and peace spring up like plants from the earth after a long, cold winter. In other words, God notices when people naturally live the way God appreciates most. Thus, paraphrased from today's passage, the psalmist sings out, "Yes! The Lord shall give what's good, and our land shall yield a bumper crop."
According to the psalm writer, when God is in the centre, good things spring up unbidden, like plants from the earth: good things such as honourable, righteous lives giving rise to peaceful relationships; or truth moderated by mercy, improving delivery of hard-to-hear messages; or our nation yielding to foundational Christian principles; or creating our families according to the order set out in Scripture; or most importantly, yielding our own hearts to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and accepting Jesus as our Saviour and Lord: all increasing godly and goodly blessings.
May God grant us what is good: truth met with mercy; righteousness kissed with peace; and our land, homes, and hearts yielding a godly and goodly increase.
Prayer: Lord God, grace us with Your presence. Enable us to live according to Your good plan for our lives that is laid out in Your Word. Bless us with Your mercy. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.