Are you excited about one day seeing God face-to-face? This is one of the promises of the Bible, that all people will one day be directly in the presence of God. It's a promise that comes with a catch though, which came to mind as I was reading Psalm 68. The catch is dependent on the attitude that a person has towards God in this life.
Verses 3 & 4 read:
"But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
lift up a song to Him who rides through the deserts;
His name is the Lord; exult before Him!"
Those who love God will delight in His presence. Praise will be their natural and joyful response to casting their eyes on Him.
That small word, 'but', starts verse 3, because those two verses stand in contrast to verses 1 & 2, which read:
"God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;
and those who hate Him shall flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;
as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God."
The first two verses speak to all people who don’t love God. The people who hate God. The people who dislike God. The people with no time for God. The people who consider the very idea of God as being, at best, an old-fashioned idea, a myth to be cast aside like any other fairy tale.
The Psalmist is clear. There are two groups, and only two groups. One group includes all who love God and the other includes everyone else. There is no middle ground, no place of compromise. Nor is there a middle ground in terms of response to God's appearing. There will be joy and delight on the one hand, and unimaginable fear on the other.
There are days I feel worn out. Days when I know the promises of God for those who love Him are good, and that they are promises that will one day come my way. But the fulfillment of them seems to be so far away that I can't get very worked up about them. And on a day such as that my eyes came to these words of Psalm 68 and I saw the sharp contrast between what I have been delivered from and what lies in my future.
The Bible promises that by faith in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior you can be certain that you are among those who will rejoice to be in the very presence of God. So re-read the words of verses 3 & 4 and know with confidence that they are meant for you. They will apply to other people as well, but know with certainty that they are meant to encourage you. Whatever is wearing you down today will one day pass and you will rejoice and sing praises in the very presence of God.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.