Be Still Know
Psalm 80.19 NLT
“Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.”
We all know that look, when someone looks at us with their full attention and warmth. The look tells us everything that we need to know – that we are welcome and that they are on our side. On three occasions in this psalm, Asaph expresses his longing that God’s face would shine upon the people. This psalm was probably written at the time of the fall of Samaria to the Assyrians in the 8th century BC. The destruction of the ten northern tribes left little Judah terribly exposed and the people feared for their lives. In their despair they turned to God and longed that he would turn his face to them and give them his blessing.
The fact is that God longed to give his people his blessing. That is what any loving father longs to do, and the Old Testament makes clear to us that it was consistently God’s desire. Today’s verse reminds us of the Aaronic Blessing which we find in Numbers 6.24-26 “May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you his peace.” I love every opportunity to use those precious words. They poignantly express God’s desire to smile on us, but he will only do so when our lives are turned towards him in obedience and trust.
Long ago a friend showed me a picture of her father. He was smiling warmly and she explained that when the photo was taken he was looking at her. I think that’s a beautiful picture of our God who longs to smile at us, and throw his arms around us, but can only do so when our lives are turned towards him.
QUESTION: In what way do you believe God smiles on you?
PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for your continual love and faithfulness. Help me to turn my full attention to you each day. Amen
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