A Song of Mercy and Judgment
Psalm 101:1-8
I will sing of mercy and judgment: to you, O LORD, will I sing.…

This resolution indicates a hopeful and happy state of mind. A song is the natural channel for the outflow of gladness (James 5:18).

I. TO WHOM HE SINGS. Conscious nearness to God, and exuberant joyfulness of spirit, come together here. These two do not always go together: very often when they are brought near, they mutually destroy each other, like fire and water. Apart from regeneration and reconciling, you may have one of these two in human experience, but not both. In the multitude of his thoughts within him, an unconverted man may be brought, and for a time kept, consciously near the Holy One; but then there are great sadness and grief in his heart: or an unconverted man may experience great joy; but then he has turned away from God. You may bring such a man to the Lord; but as long as he is there, he has no song: or you may give him a song; but while he is singing, he has put God out of all his thoughts. To turn to the Lords and in that attitude to sing for joy, belongs to the children — to those who have been made nigh by the blood of Christ, and are accepted in the Beloved.

II. THE PSALM THAT HE SUNG. "Mercy and judgment" are the two sides of the Divine character, as revealed by God, and apprehended by men. They are the two attributes which lie over against each other, for conflict or in harmony, according to the conditions in which they are exercised, or the point from which they are viewed. A song cannot be constructed out of justice or mercy separately. Neither can they become the subjects of praise, if they meet in mere conflict to neutralize or destroy each other. It is not that God is less just because He is also merciful, and less merciful because He has undertaken to be just. When these two meet in the eternal covenant, they kiss each other. Justice is greater because mercy meets it: mercy is greater because justice is satisfied and assents. Justice is made more just because mercy keeps it company: mercy becomes more merciful in presence of a righteousness that never bends. They so meet as to support each other. This union takes places in Christ crucified. In Him the promises of God are yea and amen. We are saved, because Christ our passover was sacrificed for us. It is a song that is needed now, this song to the Lord — a song about mercy and judgment, from the ranks of the redeemed. For their own comfort this is needed; for the honour of God, and as a witness to the world.

(W. Arnot.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David.} I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.

WEB: I will sing of loving kindness and justice. To you, Yahweh, I will sing praises.

Mercy and Judgment
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