Psalms 25: 10
Psalms 25:10 says, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Mercy and truth go together. Where there is a lack of truth there will also be a lack of mercy. This is one reason we can always find so much mercy when we look to Jesus for it because Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Because Jesus Christ is the truth there is always mercy to be found with him.
Truth and mercy begin by confession of sin. Man is a great sinner. God is Holy. “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) There is a tremendous amount of truth available because God has given His complete Word. This is why Ephesians 1:9 says, “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will...” His Word has been and will be preserved forever. The problem is not the lack of truth but the refusal of men to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.
This is the very reason that nations find themselves in a situation where they have lost all their freedom and given themselves over to the type of government that results in tyranny and oppression. They have turned away from the truth in their hearts. They have also turned away from mercy. This should be a warning to America because of the direction that America is swiftly heading. However, it is never too late to repent of sin and turn to Jesus Christ and find mercy.
“All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth.” It does not matter if those around you turn from mercy and truth because you can always find mercy and truth with Jesus even when it is not found in men. “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth.” Another way of saying this is, you reap what you sow. Another way of saying it is Psalms 1:1, “blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But His delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
There is a practical side to following Christ, and there is also a positional side. Verse 10 speaks of Christ’s covenant and testimonies. What is a covenant? And what is a testimony? A covenant is an agreement between two or more people or parties. A testimony is a witness. The word covenant that is used here means literally an agreement which is made from something being sacrificed. The flesh which is sacrificed is cut in two and the covenant maker passes betwixt it. What is the covenant of the LORD? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the covenant.
Hebrews 12:24 says, “And to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Since the time of Adam and Eve and their son Able, through the time of the nation of Israel until the time of Christ, lambs were sacrificed as a symbolism to the covenant. Of course there is a reason the Bible is divided into the New Covenant and the Old Covenant. There is the covenant of the law. And there is the covenant of grace. The old covenant, the covenant of the law, is a list of do’s and do not’s. It is based on man doing what God says. The Covenant of grace, however, is based upon man believing in what God has done: Christ’s fulfillment of the law and death on the cross for our sins and resurrection.
The law of God teaches men that they are sinners. It is impossible for men to perfectly fulfill the law. You might think you can. But if you study the Old Testament honestly and examine yourself, you will find that you have failed. It makes sense that the age of the law came before the age of grace because the age of grace and the New Covenant begins with Jesus. Before that time, Christ had not come in the flesh nor died for the sins of the world. Therefore, there could be the promise of such a covenant through the tearing of Christ’s flesh and his death on the cross. But until that happened, the covenant had not actually been made. It had only been promised that it would be made. This however shows how great the grace of God is. God’s mercy and grace is so great that men, in the days before Christ, could still find forgiveness for their sins by simply believing in the promise of the covenant which had not yet been made but only promised. Even though Christ had not yet died God promised He would. Men believed him and looked forward to the cross and by faith they pleased God but not by works. This was the purpose of the age of the law: to show the world that men cannot be justified by the law. Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
The way the nation of Israel failed to keep the law is no greater of a failure than any other nation would be had they been given the same opportunity. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
This is the reason the Bible is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. John 1:17 says, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” There is a difference between law and grace. The law is good. But it can only condemn because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This is the reason we see a difference between the New Testament and the Old Testament. In the days of the Old Testament men lived under law. Since the time of Christ, men have lived under grace. Times are not as harsh as they were back then. Most of us do not beat our children with rods nor do we stone them to death for disrespect towards their parents. Most of us do not stone people for committing adultery. The truth is, any sin, no matter how small it may seem, has only one just punishment: death. This is the harshness of the law even though the law is just and good. It is not just the great sins that demand death, but every sin. Adam and Eve received the consequence of death simply by eating a piece of fruit that God had commanded them not to eat. When God gave the law to Moses, it was for the purpose of teaching men that they are sinners in need of a Savior. Even now thousands of years later men still are slow to allow the law to be their school master to bring them unto Christ. You cannot obtain righteousness through the law. You cannot obtain eternal life through your own effort and works: only through believing in the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
What does the word “Testament” mean? The word “testament” can mean a covenant. But it can also mean a witness. This same Hebrew word used in this verse of Psalms 25 is elsewhere in the Bible translated as witness. You could say the covenant and the testament, or you could say the agreement and the witness. When men make an agreement or sign a contract, there is usually some kind of a witness there to testify that the agreement or contract is valid. In the Old Testament God made a covenant with man, and there was a witness between them. The witness is God himself. This is one reason Jesus Christ is called the faithful witness. Christ is the alpha and the omega. He has been here since before the beginning as a witness of the truth, and a witness of His covenant of redemption from sin. Revelations 1:5 says, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”
As you read through the Old Testament, you will find that in the many times God made promises to those great men of faith such as Adam, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and many more, Christ was there as the faithful witness to the promises because Christ is God. That is why Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the father.” (John 14:9)
Of course, Jesus is the eternally existent one, and therefore by His Spirit we still have witness to the truth. We know that the New Covenant, the New Testament of grace through Jesus, is valid because we have the written Word as a witness. The perfectly preserved without-error Word of God gives us the New Covenant and Testament of the Gospel.
First Corinthians 11:23-24 says, “For I have received of the LORD that which also I delivered unto you, That the LORD Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”
The truth to understand about the New Testament and the New Covenant is that it has always been since the foundation of the world. The age of the law and the covenant of the law was necessary as a schoolmaster to teach the nations and individuals their need for redemption through the blood of Christ. Without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. First Peter 1:18-20, “Forasmuch a ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
Before the foundation of the world Jesus Christ was foreordained as the New Testament and the new covenant. Jesus is the covenant. Jesus is the testament. Jesus fulfilled the law and became sin for us who knew no sin that we might obtain the righteousness of God which is of faith and not of works. This is a great covenant of mercy and truth, of tender mercies and loving kindness because men are great sinners. Once we understand that the new covenant is based on what God has done through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, then we also understand that the covenant cannot be broken. If you understand the difference between law and grace, then you will have an understanding of eternal security. Once saved always saved. That is why Jesus said in John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
Psalms 25:11, “For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.” Pardon for sin comes from Jesus. Your sin and my sin is great. It is no coincidence these things are mentioned in connection with the previous verse which speaks of the covenant and the testimonies. To fail at the law means to be a sinner. There is none righteous, no not one. If it were possible to keep the old covenant without failing, then you would not need a new covenant. If man had kept the law, Jesus would not have needed to die for our sins. But everyone in the world since Adam and Eve has and will fail at keeping the covenant of the law. Because God is all powerful and omniscient, He knows the future, and therefore before the foundation of the word He preordained a plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking badly of the Old Testament. The Old Testament is just as much the Word of God as is the New Testament. It is through the New Testament that we can come to understand the Old Testament better. Some things in the Old Testament are no longer applicable to today in the age of grace. Nonetheless, the teaching of grace through faith and not of works has always been the theme of God’s Word. Even in the time of Job because Job 10:7 says, “Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.”
One thing however has not changed: the law is our schoolmaster. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Study the Old Covenant, study the law. The law is perfect, converting the soul. The testimonies of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple. Study it, and you will by the grace of God see how great a sinner you are and just how greatly you need Christ. When you think of the covenant both old and new, you should think of mercy and truth, and you should think of Jesus Christ as the author of these things. Jesus is the faithful witness and testimony because He is the mediator between God and man, and therefore he is the covenant and the testimony. Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the Almighty God both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jesus is the faithful witness.
It is through the blood of Jesus that you can have the righteousness of the law. Repent of your sins and ask Christ to forgive you of your sins and enter into His mercy and truth. Psalms 25:10, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
Copyright; 2012 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved