In Psalm 80, I noticed the writer repeated this same phrase 3 times throughout the passage:
“Restore us, O God / God Almighty / Lord God Almighty,
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.” (v3, v7, v19)
Asking God to “make His face shine on you” is a common Old Testament prayer/blessing that has been passed down for centuries, starting with Aaron (Num. 6:24-26). We still hear pastors say it at the end of worship services today. The word “face” in the original Hebrew is “paniym”, and in this context it’s not a literal physical face, but a figurative reference to God’s presence or countenance.
As we know, anytime something is repeated in the Bible, it emphasizes its importance. In this particular Psalm, the writer is praying for Israel’s restoration from being persecuted by a foreign enemy. The writer shows us that God’s presence is a requisite in the work of restoration and salvation… THAT we may be saved.
When God’s presence shines on us, it results in an illumination of our lives through His love, grace, mercy, and blessing; and only through Christ’s sacrifice and His indwelling Spirit, are we justified.
As Christians, I feel like we too often gloss over this fact in our daily walks. I know for me, I need to rely on His restorative power through the Holy Spirit every moment of my life, because I am unfortunately a sinner through and through. To know that God loves us so much and is so gracious that He can restore us from any state of brokenness and sin, is something that we should be rejoicing in every day!
Let’s make it a priority to seek God’s face continuously, that His presence would be a constant light in our lives. My prayer as we go into this weekend, is that the Lord would make His face to shine upon you… that He would bless you and keep you, lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen!
[From October 26, 2018]