Today: [Psalm 67-68] God’s Face Shines Upon Us. In this study we look at Psalm 67-68. We see that God’s face represents His spirit. He can cause His face to shine on us and He can hide Himself from us. When you understand the metaphor of the sun rising upon the earth as God revealing Himself to us it gives a deeper understanding of what brings God’s favor over our lives.
[Psa 67:1-7 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm [or] Song.]] God be merciful unto us, and bless us; [and] cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. 2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. 3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 4 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. 5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 6 [Then] shall the earth yield her increase; [and] God, [even] our own God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
In Psalm 67 David speaks about the “face” of God. When studying the bible the face, or countenance represents the spirit. This can be the spirit of God or the human spirit. It can also represent and angel or even a demon. When you dream about someone’s face or your own face as part of the dream it applies to your spirit or some other spirit in nature. In looking at verse 1 then we learn that God can cause His face to “shine” upon us. Which by extrapolation lets us know that there may be times in our life that this doesn’t happen.
What does it mean when God’s face “shines” upon us? The word shine here means “to make luminous” either literally or figuratively. The word picture is that of the break of day when the sun rises above the horizon. This is interesting because we see this light when something else (the horizon) no longer occludes it’s view. This implies that when God’s face isn’t shining on us that He is hiding Himself from us. What does He use to conceal Himself? In the picture of the sun rising it is the earth. In Mark 4 Jesus compares the earth in the parable of the sower to the heart of man. So God uses our own heart to conceal Himself. This is compelling because Luke 17:20,21 states that the kingdom of God (ergo the throne of God) is within us. Ecc. 3:11 says that God sets eternity in the hearts of men.
Proverbs 25:22 says it is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to find it out. We spoke yesterday of Jesus teaching that no man comes to the Father except the spirit draw him first. Think about it. Sunrise happens when the earth tilts toward and not away from the sun. When we think of this as our hearts – when our hearts turn toward God He causes His face to shine upon us. Why would we turn our hearts toward God in the first place? Because He drew us or influenced us to do so. Without the influence of God no man would pursue or seek to develop a sense of God’s presence. We seek the Lord and he causes us to experience His glory. Phil. 4:19 says that the riches of God are in the glory. Every answer to prayer is in the glory. Where is the glory? Col. 1:26,27 says the glory is in us. So even when we don’t feel it or think so everything that God is, everything God is doing, and everything God potentially is about to do originates from the inside of us. All is revealed when we turn toward Him. When WE decline away from Him then He is hidden from us. Therefore we pray with David:
[Sng 1:4 KJV] 4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
[Psa 68:1-35 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, A Psalm [or] Song of David.]] Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. 2 As smoke is driven away, [so] drive [them] away: as wax melteth before the fire, [so] let the wicked perish at the presence of God. 3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. 4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. 5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, [is] God in his holy habitation. 6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry [land]. 7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: 8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: [even] Sinai itself [was moved] at the presence of God, the God of Israel. 9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. 10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor. 11 The Lord gave the word: great [was] the company of those that published [it]. 12 Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil. 13 Though ye have lien among the pots, [yet shall ye be as] the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. 14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was [white] as snow in Salmon. 15 The hill of God [is as] the hill of Bashan; an high hill [as] the hill of Bashan. 16 Why leap ye, ye high hills? [this is] the hill [which] God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell [in it] for ever. 17 The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angels: the Lord [is] among them, [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place]. 18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, [for] the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell [among them].
This psalm begins with David calling upon God to arise. When does God arise? Considering the subject of God causing His face to shine on us we compare this to the sun. When the earth (our heart) turns or leans toward the sun (representing God) the sun “rises”. You have to realize in this just how much influence you have over what God will do next in your situation. When you turn toward Him – He will arise and the enemies will scatter!
Verse 2 of this psalm says that the wicked perish as wax in the flame. God is a consuming fire. For the righteous we seek out the fire of God as Moses turned to investigate the burning bush. The wicked attempt to extinguish the fire of God but John 1 tells us that He is the light that lights every man that comes into the world. When people claim not to understand God or believe in God it isn’t because they “haven’t figured it out”. If you look at it through the understanding of scripture we realize that they have been darkened not by ignorance but by demonic influence because they found God detestable:
[Rom 1:21 KJV] 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Verse 4 says that we sing unto God because He rides on the heavens. If the earth represents the heart of man the heavens represent the immediate spiritual environment around us. God masters the spiritual environment around us as a man who breaks a horse and rides it for His pleasure. God is not just the theoretical master – He is the immediate Master of every day we walk in and every situation we find ourselves in. This is why we see Him as savior AND Lord.
Verses 5-6 speak of God as advocating for the fatherless and the widow. He sets the solitary in families. Herein lies the heart of God where the church is concerned. Many, many believers today live out their lives in spiritual isolation. They find it is better to be unchurched than to committed themselves to the church in its current state of decline. To that I would remind you that what man calls church is different from what God calls church. You may have rightly excluded yourself from institutional religion but God still seeks to set you in a spiritual family for your own welfare and the welfare of others. You are needed. You need spiritual family. Open your heart to that and actively seek out those with whom you can regularly and genuinely commiserate with.
19 Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. Selah. 20 [He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death. 21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, [and] the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. 22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring [my people] again from the depths of the sea: 23 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of [thine] enemies, [and] the tongue of thy dogs in the same. 24 They have seen thy goings, O God; [even] the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. 25 The singers went before, the players on instruments [followed] after; among [them were] the damsels playing with timbrels. 26 Bless ye God in the congregations, [even] the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. 27 There [is] little Benjamin [with] their ruler, the princes of Judah [and] their council, the princes of Zebulun, [and] the princes of Naphtali. 28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us. 29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee. 30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, [till every one] submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people [that] delight in war. 31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. 32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: 33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, [which were] of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, [and that] a mighty voice. 34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency [is] over Israel, and his strength [is] in the clouds. 35 O God, [thou art] terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel [is] he that giveth strength and power unto [his] people. Blessed [be] God.
Verse 19 is very encouraging. God does not ignore us for one single day. Every day there are benefits that God is loading into our lives. Verse 20 tells us that even death itself cannot overrule the plan of God. Death may be something we cannot avoid in our own strength but our life and the time of our death is not out of God’s control. If it was up to the enemy we would all die in the day that we were born because Satan hates us so. The fact that we live out our lives is evidence of direct intervention by God to make it so.
Verse 26 tells us to bless God in the congregations. You have to be a part of a congregation to do this. It is very difficult for many to find a people to connect themselves to. But the command of God is very clear. Even if you choose to eschew the institutional church God wants you to be a part of a living, breathing congregation of some form or another that come together on a regular basis to bless the name of the Lord and to praise His name. The primary purpose of the congregation before teaching or anything else is to be a house of prayer and praise and a place to bless the name of the Lord.
It is important for us to get this and commit to being a part of a corporate body because it is (v. 29) in our corporeality as a body gathered in Christ’s name that God compels the kings of the earth to bring presents to us in His name. This tells us that the authority of the believer and the blessing of God to bring the earth to heel before us is connected to our coming together in agreement as a spiritual body. The enemy knows this and has worked from the inception of the church to keep us weak, divided and separated from one another. Even now today being separated from a body is actually trumpeted as being preferable and a sign of “deeper spirituality”. We must work against this tactic of the enemy.
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