God's Truth In Love

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:3-4 – Mercy and Truth Equal Favor

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Exhortation, Godly Counsel, Learning, Mercy, Peace, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on January 25, 2018 at 7:00 am

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Mercy and Truth Equal Favor

Once again in this verse as in other verses from the Book of Proverbs, we see the characteristics that govern a person who finds favor in the sight of God and mankind. In these two verses they are the characteristics of mercy and truth.

What is mercy? What is truth, as reflected in this verse? How do we bind them to ourselves? What does it mean to write them on the tablets of our hearts? What exactly is this “good understanding” we will find with God and mankind? All these are questions we will explore.

Most people understand what it is to have favor with people. To our society it generally means to be accepted, liked, to have one’s ideas embraced, etc. However, the type of favor God is talking about here goes just a bit deeper.

*“favour” in the Hebrew language means the following:

2580. חֵן chên, khane; from 2603; graciousness, i.e. subj. (kindness, favor) or obj. (beauty):— favour, grace (-ious), pleasant, precious, [well-] favoured.

2603. חָנַן chânan, khaw-nan’; a prim. root [comp. 2583]; prop. to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow

*Many words may appear to be misspelled in the King James Version of the Bible, much of the grammar may appear to be incorrect, but these are not misspellings based upon the British language where it was written, neither are the grammatical differences mistakes in the British language.

When we find favor with God and man, favor based upon God’s Principles we are treated graciously by those whom we know, whom we do not know, those we would be considered inferior to, along with those who might view themselves as inferior to us. People treat us with kindness beyond what we deserve, as does God. God opens doors for us beyond what we could imagine. God bestows good things on us beyond what we can conceive. People desire to give to us and do for us. With all of that, the most beautiful picture of what it means to have favor we can derive from the Hebrew definition of the word “favour” – that God, Our Creator, the Almighty, will “bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior” to us in order to show us His love and His blessing because we are showing mercy and walking in truth.

When it comes to having “good understanding” with God and mankind, we see another aspect of favor. According to the Hebrew language (definition to follow) that “understanding” will take on the shape of us coming across with an intelligence beyond our human ability, we will find success in our godly pursuits, because we will be believed to hold discretion, knowledge, prudence, wisdom, etc. in our dealings and policies beyond what seems typical among people in the society in which we live.

“understanding” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

7922. שֶׂכֶל sekel, seh’-kel; or

שֵׂכֶל sêkel, say’-kel; from 7919; intelligence; by impl. success: — discretion, knowledge, policy, prudence, sense, understanding, wisdom, wise.

We must not forget however that to find such favor and good understanding requires that we walk in mercy and truth. In order to walk in mercy and truth we must first understand what both are. Next, we must have a willingness and fervent desire to walk in mercy and truth, for this is what it means to write them on the tablets of our hearts. Finally, we must make a determined choice, followed by a daily effort, to live our daily life showing mercy at all times and living a life characterized by telling the truth, representing the Truth as found in God’s Word, and being truthful in our dealings, which is to have integrity, for when we have done these things we have met the requirement to bind them to ourselves?

As we reflect on what it means to walk in mercy we find the need for kindness to be shown to people, for us to be known by our good deeds toward people. We can determine this Truth from the Hebrew definition of “let not mercy” in verse three.

“let not mercy” in the Hebrew language is defined as:

2617. חֶסֶד cheçed, kheh’-sed; from 2616; kindness; by impl. (toward God) piety; rarely (by opposition) reproof, or (subj.) beauty:— favour, good deed (-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, wicked thing.

Beyond that we also find from the definition that to walk in mercy also means that we are committed to piety toward God to such a degree that God rarely has to correct (reproof) us. It means that we are dedicated to Truth as found in God’s Word and we reproach (criticize, rebuke, censure) anything wicked or evil. In order to do that we must have and walk in truth, hence why truth and mercy must go together.

Walking in Truth means that we know what we believe, that what we believe lines up with God’s Principles as found in God’s Word, and that we are doing our best to live out those Principles.

“and truth” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

571. אֶמֶת ˒emeth, eh’-meth; contr. from 539; stability; fig. certainty, truth, trustworthiness:— assured (-ly), establishment, faithful, right, sure, true (-ly, -th), verity.

When we are bound to Truth there is a stability about us, a certainty in our belief system, we are assured in who we are and what we believe. Our ideas and answers to things fall on the side of right most of the time. Verity (sincerity and principles) guide our life.

People know they can trust us when we are dedicated to truth. People know we will be where we say we will be, when we say we will be there, they know we will do what we say we will do. We are faithful and trustworthy.

May we all be established by the Lord Jesus in Truth and Mercy, finding His favor with both Him and our fellowman.


Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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