As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness.
In the words of the text is an implied contrast between the present and the future condition of God's people, in three particulars.
1. The present state is figuratively exhibited as one of sleep. He that wakes must have been asleep. David regarded this life as little better than an unquiet sleep. At times we are ready to doubt whether anything about us is real, and to suspect that we are the dupes all along of deceitful impressions. Moreover, the Christian wayfarer is painfully conscious of deficiency in that lively wakefulness which is most important to his spiritual progress. How, then, can he fail to desire earnestly the time of awaking?
2. The unsatisfactory nature of all things here below was another fact that pressed on David's mind. In saying "I shall be satisfied," he as good as says "I am not satisfied." What meagre fare to a spiritual man must that be which even a natural man finds deficient.
3. Here, again, the Psalmist encounters one of those great evils, perfect deliverance from which is reserved to another state of being. That evil is the loss of God's image. That loss is only partially repaired in any renewed soul. It is the heartfelt complaint of every pious person, that his resemblance to God is so faint and obscure. What is the. aim, or substance, of religion? It is to know, to love, to imitate God, as He is revealed to us in the face of Immanuel. We are religiously happy, just in proportion as the moral character of God is transfused into our souls. This, then, is the fulness of joy to an immortal and sanctified being — we shall "be like Him."
(J. N. Pearson, M. A.)
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,