The Joy and Peace of the Lord
“Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, ‘Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!’ You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
– Psalm 4:5-8
There is true joy and security found in no one, but God alone. David knew this truth. He knew what it was to stray from the Lord, to fail to live obediently before him, to run and to doubt. But much greater was his experience of living in trust of his sovereign Lord and King. David called himself and others to offer right sacrifices before the Lord on behalf of their sins. In Psalm 51, David wrote again of these sacrifices: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”
(Psalm 51:17). David understood that it was not just going through the motions of offering an animal on behalf of sins, but it was the heart of the person that God saw and honored. The people of God were to not only see their sin and make an offering but to see their sin and lament.
David knew sin, and David knew lament. He knew what it was to fail God. David was an adulterer, a murderer, and one who sought to hide his sin from the people and from God. Yet, when David’s sin was revealed, David was also the one who fell on his knees in lament and sorrow over his sin. He pleaded with the Lord for forgiveness and healing. In this portion of Psalm 4, David addressed those who sought God’s favor without this kind of repentance. David would call himself and the nation of Israel to see their sin, to bring an offering on behalf of that sin, and to experience the healing that can only come from the Lord.
David knew that God would shine his light upon his people after such repentance. David also knew that returning to the Lord brought incredible joy, joy that surpassed any earthly pleasure. The joy of restoration and of walking in the light of the Lord was the foundation of David’s life. David lived in the light of the Lord and in the presence of the Lord.
Living in that light allowed David to experience peace. He lived in peace throughout the day and then rested in that peace at night. David’s peace was the kind of peace that surpassed all understanding because it was not from him but from the Lord – “For you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”
The light of the Lord brought the revelation that led to healing. That was true of David and can be true for us today. Unfortunately, many of us hide from that light. We hide our sin and thus cannot turn and be healed. The Lord would invite you today to bring your sin before him and to allow him to heal and restore you. Then and only then can you experience this joy and peace that surpasses any earthly experience or expectation.Reflection:
How are you inspired by the example of David? Would the Lord call you deeper into his light today?
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