Psalm 17 – “I Shall Behold Your Face”

by Timothy Shorey

Today’s Reading: Psalm 17

Spurgeon Comments:  “…To behold God’s face and to be changed by that vision into his image, so as to partake in his righteousness, this is [the psalmist’s] noble ambition; and in the prospect of this he cheerfully waives all [his] present enjoyments…[After our season in the furnace, we] shall sleep, but we shall wake at the sound of the trumpet; wake to everlasting joy, because [we shall] arise in your likeness, O our God and King! Good men here below have glimpses of glory to [please, but not satisfy] their sacred hunger, but the full feast awaits them in the upper skies. Compared with this deep, ineffable, eternal fullness of delight, the joys of this world are as a glowworm to the sun, or the drop of a bucket to the ocean.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Cardiphonia* – There clearly is an application of this psalm that may be made to any and all believers who live consistently godly lives, and take abuse or persecution for it. Such saints may plead with God to shelter, cover, and vindicate them; and then, at the end of it all, when they awaken from death, to show them his face and satisfy them with his likeness forever. And our God will certainly do all of this. It is our blessed hope (1 John 3:1-3).

But this hope is grounded in Another; Another who was blameless in the absolute sense; Another who aimed for perfection and hit it; Another who was surrounded by devouring lions; Another who “fell asleep” in death, and soon thereafter was awakened to eternal joys as the same Exact Image and likeness of God that he had always been (Hebrews 1:3). Apart from this greater application to this Another—to Jesus Christ our Lord—the lesser application would offer no lasting hope.  For eternal vindication and glorification into the likeness of God can only happen for us, if they have first happened to him; to the One who went before us in our behalf.

* A word coined by and borrowed from John Newton (meaning “sounds of the heart”).  The Cardiphonia comments in the Shorey Psalter are my personal reflections on the Psalm.






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