As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness.
How does our life show itself, to the devout and reflective mind, as little better than a vision of the night! Think what dreams are in themselves, taking them generally, and then think what any devout man's life, or any man's life, appears when he comes to look back upon it from old age, and you will have no great difficulty in answering this question. There is an absence of method in dreams. They are incongruous, incoherent, disconnected, confused. Our dreams come like shadows, and so depart. In all this the devout mind finds resemblance to its own history. Many thoughts and feelings of a better kind have been stirring within us. But there is no order, no properly connecting link. Perhaps we should find it difficult to put anything like order into our present spiritual state and feeling, to say nothing about the past. There is a lack of any right measurement of time in dreams. In a single moment of sleep we may seem to live through weeks, and even months and years. There is no real time in sleep. All is illusive. We are equally at fault in our attempts to estimate our life. Bliss lessens it, sorrow lengthens it out. The past takes its tinge from our present condition. Surprises are rare in dreams. We may meet our own funeral procession, but we feel no surprise. Here the likeness holds good of other things. There is enough of the wonderful in our lives, and in the lives of those around us, if only we could see it, if only we were awake. There is in dreams an indistinctness and liability to fade. We see, and yet we do not see. There is a blurred image of something. We are like men attempting to catch a shadow. An old feeling is one of the most difficult things to recall, because it was dependent upon much that was temporary; and some thoughts are like feelings. But this fleetingness and indistinctness in our life is brought more vividly before us as all other impressions fade. The memory decays, or seems to decay. We find it hard to recall names. Perhaps also our perception appears to decline, through the failing of the body. Life. is slipping away; and life seems then little better than a dream. Now look at the other side. If life is as a dream, death is the awakening from it. Some refer the Psalm to awakening from simple sleep. We regard them as distinctly referring to the resurrection. There is a certainty about this awakening. The evidence of the resurrection is strong and manifold. See that supplied by Christian literature; by religious observances; by Christian character and life. As death is certain, so is the awakening after death. If our life be as a dream, our death will be as the light of morning awakening us from a sleep. Consider the attractions of this awakening. There is the Divine resemblance which will be enjoyed by us in it. Death does not possess any regenerative power; but there is nevertheless the promise of completeness to the believer in the world beyond the grave. There is full contentment in that other world. We never get this out of anything here. However we plan and fore arrange, we are always stumbling upon something which brings disappointment. But there, no bitter disappointment ever comes. In that fair clime there is no tempter, no doubt, no sin. Should not the thought of this better life also check undue expectations as to the present?
(J. Jackson Goadby.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
WEB: As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with seeing your form. For the Chief Musician. By David the servant of Yahweh, who spoke to Yahweh the words of this song in the day that Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said,