By Don Willis
“. . . I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psa. 17:12). John Balquy said, “Contentment is the pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase.” And Socrates remarked, “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” Plautus concluded, “If you are content, you have enough to live comfortably.”
David found contentment in beholding God’s face in righteousness. Sin produces misery! One who does not stand before God in righteousness feigns happiness and contentment, but inwardly longs for God-acceptability. Moses cautioned people, “. . . be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). One realizes that sin cannot be hidden from God. We are naked and open before Him. We cannot hide our wickedness; therefore, misery results.
Men seek satisfaction in differing ways: (1) In worldly pleasure. There are some “men which have their portion in this life. . . ” (Psa. 17:14). Moses chose to suffer affliction with God’s people rather than “enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25).
Others seek satisfaction (2) in riches. Solomon was a very rich man. He taught, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase. . . ” (Eccl. 5:10). He further reflected, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Prov. 22:1). Solomon said, “Give me neither poverty nor riches . . . lest I be full, and deny thee” (Prov. 30:8-9). Riches will not ensure satisfaction!
Some think they find satisfaction (3) in power. It is difficult to understand that God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble (Jas. 4:6). Man still cannot direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23); cannot add one cubit to his stature (Mt. 6:27); and is dependent upon God for every blessing (Jas. 1:17). Who brings the new day? Who makes it rain? Who adds days to our number? These are areas outside man’s capability. God is that great fountain from whence all blessings flow!
Some seek satisfaction (4) in knowledge. There is no end of making books, for the knowledge is ever expanding! Mankind is beginning to understand some of the wonderful laws that God placed in existence at the creation. Knowledge that does not lead one to acknowledge and subject himself to the Almighty God is misdirected knowledge. Paul spoke of the “oppositions of science (gnosis) falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20). Some feign all knowing ability and cannot answer the simple question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” God is all powerful! We need Him!
David said, “I will behold thy face in righteousness.” He attempted to live as God would have him live. Righteousness exalteth a nation! Sin is a reproach to any people (Prov. 14:34). Walking with God causes one to begin to reflect God’s righteousness within his life (2 Cor. 3:18).
Thus, David could say, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” He could anticipate that happy, contented, satisfied emotion because he walked in righteousness. Happiness is the result of character, not things! The superlative teachings of the beatitudes manifest this great and eternal truth. Seek to be what God created us to be, a creature in His own likeness! Then, satisfaction will come to mankind!
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 21, p. 661
November 7, 1985