“Many are asking, “Who can show us anything good?” Let the light of your face shine on us, Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
You’ve heard the old saying: What does misery love? Company. If we’re going to be miserable for some reason, if we can at least have someone else miserable with us, it won’t be quite as bad as it would be otherwise. So here’s some good news for those times when you are lying in bed unable to sleep because you’re upset from some wound of the day: You’re not alone.
You’re not the only one struggling with some offense and how you’re going to handle it. You’re not the only one who’s been persecuted. You’re not the only one wondering about the character of God in the face of such a wound. Many are asking, “Who can show us anything good?”
All the same, it’s easy to forget that and feel like it, isn’t it? This is one of the most potent tools of our enemy. If he can convince us we are isolated in our pain, he’ll have a lot easier a time convincing us to think or act in ways we wouldn’t normally. That’s why this particular prayer of David is so important and powerful. After spending some time letting us wallow in our pain along with him, here he begins to force us to look up and out.
This is also the natural result of the previous two verses. If we remain still in our anger and focus on getting right with God, He will naturally take us to this place where we realize and recognize that we aren’t alone. Many people are asking the same hard questions we are because they are wrestling through similarly hard experiences. The world is broken and everybody encounters the brokenness at one point or another.
Into this point of realization David cries out to God: Let the light of your face shine on us. Now, that’s a bit of a biblical phrase that Christians sometimes repeat without really understanding what it means. It’s an anthropomorphism of God who doesn’t have a body or a face, but think about the imagery.
There’s certainly a reference to Moses asking to see God’s face, being shown His backside glory (which kind of seems like it meant God mooned Moses…), and coming away with His face glowing with the radiance of the encounter. More importantly, when the light of someone’s face shines on you, what’s happening? They are looking at you.
Well, when you’re hurting, sometimes the thing we want to know more than anything else is simply that someone else sees us and knows we are hurting. Even if they can’t relieve our pain at all, at least we’re not alone. Remember? Misery loves company. Like a small child who brings every wound to the attention of his parents if for no other reason than to get the booboo kissed, David cries out for God’s attention in his hurt and angst. We should too. He will give it.