God be gracious and merciful to us and may His face shine upon us.

Meditating the Word of God – 7th October

God be gracious and merciful to us

Today’s verse is from Psalm 67:1. Here is the verse from four versions of the Bible.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us (version NIV)

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah (version KJV)

God be gracious and kind-hearted to us and bless us, And make His face shine [with favor] on us (version AMC)

God be merciful and gracious to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us and among us—Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! (version AMPC)

It’s only by God’s mercy that we live. Every stage of our life, every year, every day, every moment we need His mercy. So many things could go wrong, but he in His abundant mercy protected us and shielded us and our families, our near and dear ones, because of which we have a peaceful life.

Life has umpteen permutations and combinations, yet the Lord in His mercy blessed us with the right parents, siblings. When we start thinking and listing these down, we have 1,000’s of reasons to praise and thank Him. The limitation is only our thinking.

The psalmist goes on to ask the Lord to bless us. Our Lord’s blessings are required to sustain us. Neither our past, nor our present or our future is due to our ability or our family heritage. These truths will keep us grounded and make us stand in a posture seeking his blessings, mercy and grace.

The portion of the psalm is similar to the Aaron blessings given towards the end of gatherings in the church. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. ( Ref. Book of Numbers 6:24-26)

We are literally like a little helpless baby, who is much delighted by the gentle look of approval from the parents, which to the baby is a lifeline for the infant. The beauty of the response of the baby is like a gentle bright sunshine to the parents. As we love and long for God, to grow in his acceptance, to delight and please Him.

Our God gives us a free choice. Although he loves us as the apple of His eye, he wants us to exercise free will and choice in loving him and delighting Him. Just like a parent is delighted when his baby recognises him/her, watches him/her, calls him/her papa/ mamma.

From our perspective, there is nothing as precious as being able to see His face shine upon us. Pause on this thought, as is mentioned in the last version – AMPC. Ponder on it. Be still at the thought of receiving the sunshine, the warmth, the very nourishment, love and embrace of the Lord.