For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame ?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods ?
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.
A few weeks ago, my wife, Heidi, did her regular posting on her blog; a commentary on the Psalm 4 .
The 6th verse caught my attention. The verse reads: ” There are many who say “Who will show us any good? Lord, lift up the light of your countenance upon us.”
The psalmist then states that God put gladness in his heart more than material increase and causes him to lie down in peace and safety. I began to wonder what it meant to have God’s countenance shine down on you, and what was the benefit of that holy light. It sounded like a good topic to study.
I found that David was likely referring back to a benediction God told Moses to have the priesthood bless the people with in Numbers 6:24-26.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Have you ever thought what it really means to have God’s face and his countenance to shine down on us? Why would God want to illuminate our lives and what attributes does He wish to have shine down on us?
As I thought about it, I realized it would most likely be His holiness, His righteousness, and His mercy and long suffering. For these are the attributes He would want us to excel in.
“You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” Leviticus 11:45.
God’s standards should be ours, after all, Jesus, in teaching the multitudes the beatitudes, said, “ You are the Light of the world….” Matt. 5:11
Thus the light of His countenance dispels the darkness from our lives and illuminates His standards that we are to emulate. What are the benefits of reflecting God’s light and being in harmony with Him? The psalmist said it was lying down in peace and safety, for Isaiah 57:21 says, “ There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” For His perfect righteousness demands justice. I believe that is what Jesus was warning people who mistreat children in Matt 18:10, when He said, “ Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” The holy angels in God’s presence eagerly await God’s command to carry out His justice.
I’m thinking that this is a good beginning to the contemplation of God’s benediction. As usual, Frank opens up scripture upon scripture to build a base upon which one can venture further into the study. I look back at the times of God’s blessing and light in my life and recognize them as times of learning and understanding and yearning to be more like Him.
Do you have any of these times when you had an epiphany- an illumination and inspiration to aspire to His holiness, righteousness, mercy and longsuffering?
We’d love to hear your experience of the Holy in your life.)