Lovingkindness & Truth
Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
When God "puts His name under His word" He declares with everything that He is that His Word is good. God has signed His name to His word just like signing a check. God backs His word just as funds we have placed in the bank support the checks we might write. The word of God is as good as God.
Two characteristics of God's name (and thus of God Himself) that are "praised" in this verse and are used to back His magnified word are: Lovingkindness (or Mercy) and Truth.
Lovingkindness is the Hebrew word: checed.
Checed is translated as mercy 137 times, as kindness 38 times, as lovingkindness 26 times, and goodness 12 times. God's lovingkindness when demonstrated toward man is referred to as goodness or mercy. When we are in distress God responds with goodness & mercy because the nature of God is Lovingkindness.
Lovingkindness and truth are characteristics of God that go together to describe God and are part of God's Name :
Psalm 57:10 For thy mercy [checed-lovingkindness] is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
Psalm 108:4 For thy mercy [checed-lovingkindess] is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy [checed-lovingkindness] and truth.
Exodus 34:5-6 And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longuffering, and abundant in goodness [checed-lovingkindness] and truth,...
God is abundant in lovingkindness and truth. God is plenteous in lovingkindness and truth. God's lovingkindess and truth reach to the heavens. These are key characteristics of God and are linked together in God's word. Truth without lovingkindness is not really truth!
Psalm 85:10 Mercy [lovingkindness] and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
If we are to walk God's word we must never separate God's lovingkindness from the truth of His word we present. When God sends forth His word of truth He always sends it forth with lovingkindness. When we walk the true path of God's word we walk in lovingkindess.
Psalm 57:3b ... God shall send forth his mercy [checed-lovingkindness] and his truth.
Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy [checed-lovingkindness] and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Psalm 40:10b ... I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
God's lovingkindness toward man is very great. He has sent us His word of truth and we must believe it and share it. But we must always remember to deliver His word with the lovingkindness with which He sent it. Only then will the hearts of men turn to God and His wonderful matchless word. ALL the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth. Truth without lovingkindness is not a "path of the Lord."
Proverbs 3:3-4 Let not mercy [checed-lovingkindness] and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy [checed-lovingkindness] and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy [checed-lovingkindness], nor knowledge of God in the land.
The only way that iniquity is purged and a knowledge of God returned to the land is by presenting God's truth in lovingkindness from a heart filled with the same. A knowledge of God's true word is vital. But knowledge without lovingkindness does not purge iniquity. Lovingkindness and truth must always be presented together.