The Light of the King’s Countenance
‘In the light of the king’s countenance is life.’—Prov. xvi. 15.
BUT first fell the solemn words, ‘Thou hast set our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance. ‘* That was the first we knew of its brightness; and to some its revelation has been so terrible, that they can even understand how the Lord ‘shall destroy’ the wicked ‘with the brightness of His coming.’6Yet, though we feel that ‘His eyes were as a flame of fire,’6 we found also that our ‘King that sitteth in the throne of judgment, scattereth away all evil with His eyes;’7 and that it was when we stood in that light, that we found the power of the precious blood of Jesus, the Anointed One, to cleanse us from all sin.8
1 Cant. V. 16. 2 I Chron. xxvii. 33. ^ i Kings iv. 5.
?1 Ps. xc. 8. 5 2 Thess. ii. 8. 6 Rev. i. 14.
7 Prov. XX. 8. 81 John i. 7.
This gives new value to the promise, ‘They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance;” for it is when we walk in the light that we may claimand do realize the fulness of its power and preciousness,—not for fitful and occasional cleansing, but for a glorious, perpetual, present cleansing from all sin. Do not let us translate it into another tense for ourselves, and read,* ‘did cleanse last time we knelt and asked for it,’ but keep to the tense which the Holy Ghost has written, and meet the foe-flung darts of doubt* with faith’s great answer, .’The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth (/’. e. goes on cleansing) us from all sin.’
Thus the light of His countenance shall save us. Look at Ps. xliv. 3, where we see it as the means of past salvation,* and then at Ps. xlii. 5, where the Psalmist anticipates praise for its future help;5 while the two are beautifully linked by the marginal reading of the latter, which makes it present salvation: ‘Thy presence is salvation.’
Then follows peace. The waves are stilled, and the storm-clouds flee away noiselessly and swiftly and surely, when He lifts up the light of Hiscountenance upon us, and gives us peace.6 For this uplifting is the shining forth of His favour,7—the smile instead of the frown; and as we walk in the light of it, the peace will grow into joy, and we shall be even here and now ‘exceeding glad with Thy countenance,’8 while every step will bring us nearer to the resurrection joy of Christ Himself,
1 Ps. Ixxxix. 15. 2 Rev. xxii. 18, 19. 8 Eph. vi. 16.
^ Ps. xliv. 3. 5 Ps. xlii, 5. ^ Num. vi. 26,
^ 2 Sam. xxiii. 4. 8 Ps, xxi. 6.
saying with Him, ‘Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance.’1
So we shall find day by day, that in the light of the King’s countenance is cleansing, salvation, peace, joy;—and do not these make up life, the new life, the glad life of the children of the King?
‘Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us’2 this day, and in it let us have life, yea, ‘Life more abundantly.’
‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’