“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:”
Dissected & Defined
Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Truth is what is right. The Truth in human form is Jesus. Forsake means to abandon. Bind means to tie together with a cord. “Write them upon the table of thine heart” is an old English way of saying to meditate on something that you have previously memorized.
First, I would like to point out that something memorized is of no value if it is not meditated on in times of need. I have memorized the equation 2+2=4. Now, I no longer need to meditate on this regularly. However, when I do most math equations, it is something I need to think about. But, not as I did as a kid. It comes quite naturally because I have meditated on it often enough that it has become second nature to me.
I know a lot of people that memorize portions of the Bible. Yet, they meditate on a significantly small amount and seldom apply what they have learned. Why? Because the phrase “hid in our hearts” that keeps us from sin is not only to be memorized, but meditated on, as well.
Mercy + Truth
Our passage mentions a two-part equation that we must never abandon or fail to dwell on when faced with the shortcomings of others: Mercy +Truth.
It is mentioned in this order 17 times in the Bible, never in the inverse order. Why? Because to get someone to hear the truth you must first offer them the gift of mercy.
To get people to listen to what is right, especially about Jesus, we need to withhold what they deserve when they have failed us. This equation should bring godly sorrow and repentance in most people. It is God’s preferred equation when dealing with the failures of others.
Remember God’s Mercy To You
Don’t ever forget it. Get yourself an outward symbol to remember this (a neck tie?) and then meditate on it so that you can apply it when faced with the disappointment of another. The Lord has mercy, do we?