By Vestal Chaffin
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psa. 17:15). When David uttered these words there were those about him seeking to devour him, “. . . men of the world, which have their portion in this life” (Psa.17:13-14). They were men who treasured earthly accomplishments and pleasures above all other things. Their ambition and aspirations were to excel in power and in fame. Their portion was completely confined to this world and what it had to offer them.
Man’s nature has not changed down through the centuries. Many, even those who claim to be religious, are still seeking power (political, judicial and ecclesiastical), along with worldly pleasures and fame. They are enemies of all that is good and pure.
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Phil.3:18-19).
In contrast to those seeking to destroy David he said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness. ” His “delight is in the law of the Lord” (Psa.1:2). He said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa. 119:11). These things are characteristic of faithful servants of God today. We must live a righteous life in order to be acceptable unto God. As we study God’s revealed will we “behold thy (His) face in righteousness.”
These earthly and material things did not satisfy David, and neither do they satisfy God’s faithful servants today. He said, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Nothing but God can meet and gratify the longing of the immortal spirit of man. While man may become like Him by continual reading and meditation on His word, he must practice righteousness in his every day living.. And as suggested by the apostle Paul, “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor.3:18). David perhaps, was looking beyond the veil of tears to the time of redemption. This should be our goal today. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col.3:1-2). Christians should not become so attached to this old sinful world that they are satisfied to remain here forever. We must recognize the fact that this world is not our home. Our attitude should be like that of Abraham and Sarah as they sojourned in the “land of promise,” for they . . . confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13). The pleasures and joys and our possessions of this earth are transient, so we with the apostle Paul can say, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor.4:18).
We should long for the time when we shall “awake” with the “likeness” of God and His Son Jesus Christ, “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil.3:21). “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn.3:2). Dear friends, what is your goal in your religious life? Can you truly say, “I shall be satisified, (only) when I awake with thy likeness”?
Guardian of Truth XXX: 23, p. 713
December 4, 1986