Our world appears to thrive and profit from our fear —
fear of those different from us,
fear of insignificance and isolation,
fear that our secret shames might come to light.
Could there be another way to live?
Is it possible to fear less?
Let me hear what the Lord God says, because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones. Don’t let them return to foolish ways. God’s salvation is very close to those who honor him so that his glory can live in our land. Faithful love and truth have met; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth springs up from the ground; righteousness gazes down from heaven. Yes, the Lord gives what is good, and our land yields its produce. Righteousness walks before God, making a road for his steps.
All too often these days it can seem like love and truth have nothing to do with one another. Sometimes the loudest voices calling for righteousness seem to know nothing of peace. Psalm 85 shows us another, better way to walk.
The first half of the psalm is a thanksgiving song for the Lord’s forgiveness, and our selection celebrates the transformation that forgiveness brings. The psalm reassures us that faithful love and truth have met; compassion and integrity are old friends after all! Righteousness and peace have kissed; life lived according to God’s design is intimately related to harmony with our neighbors. Truth sprouts and grows (remember the rootedness from Colossians 2 here!) to meet God’s holy, heavenly gaze. The Lord gives good gifts to those who ask, seek, and knock, and the entire land responds with productivity.
We don’t have to pit harmony against holiness, and we don’t have to live in fear. As we fear less, we can walk with integrity and share the gospel’s truth with peaceful love.
God, thank you for the free gift of your forgiveness. Help me to follow you free from all fear — free to love others in truth, righteousness, and peace in accordance with your good design. Please bring your healing righteousness to my life and to my land. Amen.
May you go to face the day free from fear, rooted and established in the love of Christ and empowered by the Creator’s good gift of the Holy Spirit.
May love and truth meet in your thoughts, words, and actions this day.