‘Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.’ Psalm 80:19 (NIV).
The Passion translation of this verse reads, ‘Let your beaming face shine upon us with the sunrise rays of glory. Then nothing will ever stop us again!’ This version seems to give greater depth to Asaph’s plea. The visual picture is stunning. We can imagine the broadly smiling face of God looking down affectionately upon us offering the same warmth and comfort that the first rays of sunlight might in the early morning. We are bathed in His favour and glory.
Don’t we all desire God’s face to shine upon us? In fact, three times in this psalm Asaph calls upon God to restore His people and cause His face to shine upon them. But before this can happen, there must be repentance and a turning away from our sin. With humble, broken hearts, we come openly and honestly before our Father to receive His forgiveness. In turn, He helps us see ourselves and our sin more clearly. We come to realise that our self -righteousness is as filthy as soiled rags (Isaiah 64:6) and our sin has kept us far from His favour (Isaiah 59:2).
Is it time to bask in the sunlit rays of God’s glory? Let’s return, repent and be restored to His beaming face that longs to shine blessings of good favour upon us.
‘Heavenly Father, I repent of my sin which has separated me from enjoying the joy of your presence and love. Forgive me. Shine your face upon me so that nothing will stop me from being close to you. Amen.’