I am joining with my church family in a new Bible reading calendar. What a blessing it has been! Though I have read the Bible through before, it seems very fresh this year. I am seeing new things every day. I believe that He wants to speak to us like never before! If you haven’t committed to reading the Word every day, today is a good day to begin! Jesus is waiting to meet you there…NOW!
Part of the reading for this week is in Psalms 42 & 43. Though I have read and even written about these Psalms before, suddenly, I saw something new!! Look at this! Here is Psalm 42:5
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. KJV (note: This is God’s face giving help)
And here is verse 11:
11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. KJV
And in Psalm 43:5 David repeats 42:11 almost word for word: “The health of my countenance.” (note: this is David’s face receiving health)
It is important to notice that the Hebrew word for both “help” and “health” are the same: yeshuwah! Salvation! (Yes! I was pretty much jumping up and down, and shouting, “Glory!” when I discovered that!)
David was having some big trouble at the time he wrote these words. He was admitting that he was discouraged and tempted to feel hopeless. I’m sure it showed on his face, just like it does on ours when troubles come. But David knew where to turn. He turned his face toward his God! Because he knew that God’s face was towards him! And how did he know that? Because he believed what he had heard all of his life!! (remember that the Bible calls David “a man after God’s own heart.” 1Sam.13:14; Acts 13:22)
Since childhood David had heard what we call today “The Aaronic Blessing” found in Numbers 6:23-27, that the Lord commanded to be spoken over His people regularly.
22 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them. KJV
David took God at His Word! He understood and believed these words that God commanded to be spoken over His people. He trusted that God meant them! These words are very meaningful in Hebrew. Let’s look at how David probably understood them.
The word “bless” (“barak” in Hebrew) means to kneel in deference; to adore. The Lord (Jehovah) adores His people! He comes down to them in condescension. (Isn’t that exactly what “yeshuwah” Jesus did?)
“Keep” (shamar) means means to hedge about: guard; protect.
“Face” and “Countenance” are the same word (paniym) meaning face.
“Shine” (ore) means to “illuminate” …to give understanding; and to be glorious
“Gracious” (chanan) means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor; be merciful
“Peace” (shalom) That lovely word refers to a welfare of peace, safety, and rest.
So, having an understanding of these beautiful words, and a faith that God meant every one of them, David knew where to turn His face. Toward the God who commanded that His people be reminded daily that His own face would be shining upon them. That He would come down to them to guard and protect; to give them understanding; to be merciful; to give them peace and safety.
And more than this, David knew that, as he turned toward the “help” (salvation) of God’s countenance, he would receive the “health” (salvation) of his own. What a treasured promise we have! The Lord is making His face to shine upon us! For salvation, understanding, protection, safety, mercy, favor, and peace.
The Lord’s face is ever upon you! If you turn to Him you will receive the blessing He commands. Look to the Him! Trust that He means what He says! He loves you, keeps you, illumines you, favors you with mercy, and gives you peace!
The Lord wants to be face to face with you! Have you had your face time with Jesus today?
Let’s pray: Father in Heaven, We are astonished that You have considered us worth gazing upon with such love. Such love and grace is almost more than we can understand. You have commanded that we be told of your desire to bless us, illumine us, guard us, and save us. Help us, every day, to be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2) that we might reflect His image back to You and to the world. In Jesus’ name,
Here is a link to some good Bible reading plans https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/?version=NIV
As you turn your face to Him today…