But I will see your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.[a] (CSB)
What a great and precious verse this is. Think on this a moment, David is praying and concludes with this; when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence. Should that not be our daily prayer too? Should we not be satisfied with being in God’s presence each day? Further like David should we not be praying for that divine presence daily?
Do not mistake what I am saying, I am not implying some super-natural experience that infuses an individual like Moses on Mt. Sinai. We know that he barely survived that encounter with God and we never could (Exodus 33:20). This is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit recharging us daily as promised by our Lord and Savior.
Before offering an old school commentary on this verse I must make not of the opening half of the verse, often neglected when quoted; But I will see your face in righteousness. I once made the mistake of saying “I love buts in the bible while preaching a sermon” it got lots of laughs of course, unintentionally. My point was, words like but, therefore, etc. force us to read what preceded the verse to understand it fully.
In this case David has lamented his woes asked God for help against his enemies and then says But, in conclusion, no matter the out come that you choose for me Lord I will see your face in righteousness. David says he is living a righteous life so he is secure in how the Lord will deal with his enemies. Wow, are we so secure, so righteous?
The Treasury of David C.H. Spurgeon’s Classic Works on Psalms
Verse 15. As for me. “I neither envy nor covet these men’s happiness, but partly have and partly hope for a far better.” To behold God’s face and to be changed by that vision into his image, so as to partake in his righteousness, this is my noble ambition; and in the prospect of this I cheerfully waive all my present enjoyments. My satisfaction is to come; I do not look for it as yet. I shall sleep awhile, but I shall wake at the sound of the trumpet; wake to everlasting joy, because I arise in thy likeness, O my God and King! Glimpses of glory good men have here below to stay their sacred hunger, but the full feast awaits them in the upper skies. Compared with this deep, ineffable, eternal fulness of delight, the joys of the worldlings are as a glowworm to the sun, or the drop of a bucket to the ocean.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
These are only two of the Notes and Saying found on the website above
Verse 15. When I awake, I shall be satisfied with thy likeness. He speaks here of the resurrection; he calls it an awaking, for you know death is called a sleep. “Those that are asleep in the Lord shall rise first.” He had spoken before of those that had put their happiness in the comforts of this life, suitable to their bodies, to the animal state of their bodies; that is clear by the fourteenth verse, “Deliver me from the men that are thine hand, O Lord, who have their portion in this life, whose belly thou fillest with thy treasure: they are full of children, and leave to them outward things,” bodily things. “But as for me,” saith he, “I will behold thy face in thy righteousness” (there is the vision of God which is his happiness in his soul): “and I shall be satisfied when I awake” (when I rise again), “with thine image.” It is not the image of God only upon himself that he means here. Why? Because that doth not satisfy a holy heart, but it is that image of the invisible God which the human nature of Jesus Christ is, who, in opposition to all these outward pleasures, will be all in all to us; he is a spiritual creature, his human nature is spiritualised, made glorious, and our bodies shall be made spiritual likewise. “The body is made for the Lord, and the Lord for the body,” and this when they are both raised up; Christ is raised up already, and because he hath ordained the one to be serviceable to the other, he will also raise up our bodies; and when he doth raise me up, saith David, though other men have their bellies full here, and have animal pleasures they delight in; yet when I shall awake at latter day, and shall see this image of thine, shall see thy Son, I shall be satisfied: “When I awake, I shall be satisfied with thine image.” Thomas Goodwin.
Verse 15. I shall be satisfied… with thy likeness. Let a man who is thirsty be brought to an ocean of pure water, and he has enough. If there be enough in God to satisfy the angels, then sure there is enough to satisfy us. The soul is but finite, but God is infinite. Though God be a good that satisfies, yet he does not surfeit. Fresh joys spring continually from his face; and he is as much to be desired after millions of years by glorified souls as at the first moment. There is a fulness in God that satisfies, and yet so much sweetness that the soul still desires. God is a delicious good. That which is the chief good must ravish the soul with pleasure; there must be in it rapturous delight and quintessence of joy. In Deo quadam dulcedine delectatur anima immo rapitur: the love of God drops such infinite suavity into the soul as is unspeakable and full of glory. If there be so much delight in God, when we see him only by faith ( 1 Peter 1:8 ), what will the joy of vision be, when we shall see him face to face! If the saints have found so much delight in God while they were suffering, oh, what joy and delight will they have when they are being crowned! If flames are beds of roses, what will it be to lean on the bosom of Jesus! What a bed of roses that will be! God is a superlative good. He is better than anything you can put in competition with him; he is better than health, riches, honour. Other things maintain life, he gives life. Who would put anything in balance with the Deity? Who would weigh a feather against a mountain of gold? God excels all other things more infinitely than the sun the light of a taper. God is an eternal good. He is the Ancient of days, yet never decays, nor waxes old.Daniel 7:9 . The joy he gives is eternal, the crown fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:4 . The glorified soul shall be ever solacing itself in God, feasting on his love, and sunning itself in the light of his countenance. We read of the river of pleasure at God’s right hand; but will not this in time be dried up? No. There is a fountain at the bottom which feeds it. Psalms 36:9 . “With the Lord is a fountain of life.” Thus God is the chief good, and the enjoyment of God for ever is the highest felicity of which the soul is capable. Thomas Watson.