Here is wisdom . . . He atones for iniquity by lovingkindness and truth. The Hebrew does not give the impression that any kind of lovingkindness and truth will do - it is His that does this - it is God's mercy and truth that grants us forgiveness of sin. Let's look at this - because imbedded in this verse is the gospel itself!
Lovingkindness is the Hebrew word for God's covenant love and mercy. This word speaks of God's grace - that He shows us mercy in keeping with His covenant with us - and with the fact that He has set His love upon us. Here is salvation described gloriously to us. God Himself has set His love upon us - and because of His mercy and what He has done to give us something we don't deserve - He has forgiven us all our sins.
What is even more wonderful about this verse is that God does not separate the work of His grace from the work of His truth. It is by both God's mercy and truth that iniquity is atoned for when God is working in us. He brings truth to us by the Spirit of God when the Word convicts us. He does this by bringing of all things the Law which convicts us of sin. Without this work of truth showing us our sin - we are unfit for mercy - for mercy presumes that we realize that we don't deserve anything but judgment from God. But when truth brings us to the end of ourselves and our godless ways - we come to grace and cry for God's mercy.
Once that work of grace happens by God's truth and mercy - we need something to keep us away from evil. Proverbs tells us that this work happens as we fear the Lord. When we properly reverence God - when we see Him as holy - we tremble over sin and over anything that would be rebellion against Him.
What a great verse instructing us how to walk with the Lord. We are taught of both salvation and sanctification - of grace and godly fear - of mercy and of fear. There is a balance to the things of God that too often is lacking. We all tend to lean more toward mercy or truth - and yet God's Word tells us that both are necessary. We want all grace or all fearing God. What we find is that God tells us that both must be present for us to grow in the Lord. May we have the wisdom to embrace both the work of grace and the work of the fear of God in our lives.