Presence > possessions
We are all always seeking for happiness. It’s an intrinsic human trait — we want to be positive, happy, in comfort and successful. This psalm says that the source of joy is the Lord himself.
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Let the light of your face shine upon us
David’s deepest wish was for the Lord’s light to shine on him and the nation he led. God’s face is the one that shines with glory. When He looks at us our lives, even the dark places, are lit up. This clause describes the presence of God (his face) and the result of being in his presence (light).
You have filled my heart with greater joy
When we look at the Lord’s face He fills our heart with joy. David writes that the joys he feels in God is better than when the new wine and grain come in annually from the fields. Harvest time was the pinnacle of ancient agrarian life. It was the time of material plenty and therefore enjoyment and celebration. It was the one time of the year where there was food for everyone. This not only would bring relief but enjoyment to the nation. But David is saying that in his eyes, presence is more valuable than prosperity!
I will lie down and sleep in peace
This is the case because material possessions cannot give you sleep. Peace and joy come from an inner reservoir of life. And this comes from God’s face before his hand.
- Do I recognise the source of joy as His presence. If not, why not?
- Do I live in the reality that presence is greater than possessions?
- Do I lie down in peace because my heart is at rest in this?