14. The Glow of God's Favour Psalm 31:16-17

Text:  “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; save me for Thy mercies sake.  Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon Thee; let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.” 
                                                                                                              Psalm 31:16-17.

Good morning, glowing Christian!  Placed in the midst of a crowd of unbelievers, pagan-minded people, you shine.  In a world of Spiritual darkness, which in this 21st Century seems to be getting more murky and Spiritually dark every day, you shine.  Amidst increasing moral corruption and selfish sin, you are a refreshing light indeed.  You shine because of the Light of the world Christ Jesus - Who lives within every Spiritually regenerate Christian believer - it is His Spiritual light that shines from within these ‘earthen vessels’ of humanity.  Praise and all glory to His Holy Name!  Amen.

“Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 5:14-16)

Verse 16.  “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant.  The Lord God has made His face to shine upon ‘…a peculiar people…’ whom He has chosen to save in Eternity, before time on earth began.  When His face shines upon His elect people, we are drawn out of Spiritual darkness into His light, and the light of His life, Christ Jesus, comes to dwell within us.  Into God’s chosen earthen vessels is poured the treasure of Heaven, Jesus, the risen Christ.  Glory and praise to His Holy Name!

“For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.”  (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)

In pre-Christian times, the wonder of Christ living within His people was a great ‘mystery’, a truth to that time yet unrevealed and hidden.  However, after four hundred years of Spiritual darkness (the time between the Old Testament conclusion, and the commencement of the New Testament), the angels appeared to mere shepherds in the fields, declaring God’s special time of Spiritual enlightenment: “And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold (look) I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (a message for all nations)…Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”              (Luke 2:9-14)

Not only had Christ Jesus come to bring Eternal Salvation to ‘His people’, but to live within us and grant us the light of His Spiritual glow.  Hallelujah!  Thank you, Lord.

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this great mystery (progressively revealed truth) among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (mature) in Christ Jesus.”  (Colossians 1:27-28)

Verse 16.  “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant.  Give me the sunshine of Heaven in my soul, and I will defy the tempests of earth.  Permit me to enjoy a sense of Thy favour, O Lord, and a consciousness that Thou art pleased with my manner of life, and all men may frown and slander as they will.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 152)

Verse 17. “Let me not be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon Thee.  Shame comes to us naturally, and Supernaturally, when we lower our Christian standards of Holiness and integrity and wilfully sin in disobedience to our Lord God.  The Psalmist here is crying out to be filled with God the Spirit, and thereby enabled to live to a high standard of godliness and purity.  When we sin as Christians, we call upon the Lord to forgive us and cleanse us from all iniquity; we confess and forsake our sin (1 John 1:).

Verse 17.  “Let the wicked be ashamed, and let then be silent in the grave.  Both saint and sinner, believer and non-believer, sin.  However, the believer is granted faith to call upon the Lord to receive His gracious Salvation and progressive sanctification - whereas the non-believer is already condemned in his/her unbelief.  How sad.

Sin (falling short of Christ Jesus’ perfect standard of absolute Holiness) compels our Holy Lord God to turn His face away from both saved and unsaved souls.  But God’s Sovereign grace leads the regenerate out of sin’s mire and back to God’s throne of grace to find forgiveness, sanctification, and full restoration.  Once cleansed from all sin, we shine once more for Christ; Christ causes His Light to shine through us again to His glory.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear dull that it cannot hear.  BUT your iniquities (saved and unsaved) have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”    (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Thought:  If we would glow in the service of Christ - we must keep our souls from sin.  As the Puritans said: ’Keep short accounts of sin with the Lord God.’  ’Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint upon his/her knees.’  Hallelujah!

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