..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Devotions from the Heart: The Help of His Countenance

by Pastor Derek Gitsham

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why
art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in
God: for I shall yet praise him for the
help of His countenance" Psalm 42:5

Though David’s name is not over this Psalm
it is so like him in style and language that
it must be him. He speaks in the Psalm of
being greatly distressed (verse 3) my tears
have been my meat day and night, while they
continually say unto me, where is thy God?

At the same time he talks of tremendous
longing for God, which he knows, is the only
answer to great trials and afflictions.
(Verse 1) As the hart panteth after the water
brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
(Verse 2) My soul thirsteth for God, for the
living God, when shall I come and appear
before God?

Then he says in verse 4 that when he
remembered these things, his longing for God,
his thirst, he poured out his soul in him. He
began to say to himself, “Why art thou cast
down, oh my soul? Why art thou disquieted
within me? Hope thou in God for I shall yet
praise him for the help of His countenance.”

This last phrase “for the help of His
countenance” can be translated, “His presence
is salvation.” David knows this more than any
other. Having seen the house of Obed-edom
under the blessing of God because of the ark’s
presence in his house he knew that there was
no greater blessing but God Himself. The
same is true today.

Charles Wesley wrote in the same vein the hymn:

“Give me Thyself from every boast;
From every wish set free,
Let all I am in Thee be lost,
But give Thyself to me.”

Peter in his first epistle writes in the
third chapter, “For Christ now hast once
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
that He might bring us to God, being put to
death in the flesh, but quickened by the
Spirit.” Oh, that our hearts will never be
satisfied with anything less than Him, for
it is He and He alone who saves, and to
Him we must come.

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