I Shall Be Satisfied ~ Psalm 17

sunset-on-lake-mirror-reflectionHear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry,
give ear unto my prayer, that goes not out of feigned lips.
Let my vindication come forth from Your presence;
let Your eyes behold the things that are right.

You have proven my heart;
You have visited me in the night;
You have tested me, and shall find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
Concerning the works of men,
by the word of Your lips I have kept myself from the paths of the destroyer.

Hold up my steps in Your paths, that my feet slip not.
I have called upon You, for You will hear me,
O God: incline Your ear unto me, and hear my speech.
Show your marvelous loving-kindness,
O You that save by Your right hand
them who put their trust in You
from those that rise up against them.

Keep me as the apple of the eye,
hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies,
who surround me.
They are enclosed in their own fat hearts:
with their mouth they speak proudly.
They have now surrounded us in our steps:
they have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth;
Like as a lion that is greedy of its prey,
and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
Arise, O LORD, confront him, cast him down:
deliver my soul from the wicked, by your sword:
From men who are your hand, O LORD,
from men of the world, who have their portion in this life,
and whose belly you fill with your hid treasure:
they are full of children,
and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness.

The underlining is mine and indicates the verses that are special to me. But for sake of time, I shall comment only on the final line of this psalm: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness.

There are two ways of reading this. Assuming the commas are both meant to be there, the words could be rearranged to read, “When I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your likeness.” Reading it this way indicates that I am completely satisfied with my Jesus, and I need no one else.

More often, I read it without the commas. “I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness.” Read this way, the interpretation is that I shall be satisfied when I wake up and discover that I bear the likeness of Christ in my life. After all, that is the goal of the Christian life, is it not? to become more and more like Christ so that others may see Him when they look at me.

But the other reading is also very good, and honestly, I think this may be the first time I’ve ever seen it quite this way. “When I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your likeness.” For so long I have yearned to have a man in my life who validated me, loved me, accepted me, and expressed all that with passion. I have filled my mind with dreams of such a man. But the love of a man will not satisfy. It may fill a gap for a while, but it will always come up short of total satisfaction because men are, after all, only human.

Only Jesus can satisfy the deep longing of my heart. And I will be satisfied—truly, deeply, fully, completely satisfied—when I wake up to this realization and accept the unconditional love, acceptance, and validation found only in Christ.

Photo taken in Chesapeake, Virginia, 2015

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