The Solar Look

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God.       Psalm 43:5

The masking during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the disadvantages of not seeing a person’s face. Children had a more difficult time learning when the teacher’s expressions were hidden behind a mask. Masks hide the countenance as it expresses hurt or grief, joy or sadness, awareness or confusion, confidence or heaviness of heart. Responsiveness to human needs becomes reduced, if not eliminated, when people’s faces are hidden. 

The verse for today focuses on a countenance that is “cast down,” distressed in some way. The psalmist had a yearning to be close to God in His sanctuary but, at the time, he was far away from the temple. The same thought was expressed twice before in Psalm 42 (verses 5 and 11). The writer questioned the dejection he felt multiple times but raised his spirits each time by acknowledging that he needed to “hope in God.”  Reverend Joseph Cook named this action “the solar look,” looking to the Light who shines upon you as you surrender your body and soul to the Holy, Omnipotent God. 

It is He who will give you strength and comfort, and a countenance of joy even in times of tribulation. Overwhelmed because she had no child, Hannah gave her burden to the Lord, and “her face was no longer sad” (1 Samuel 1:18). By the time the psalmist looked a third time at his downcast spirit, he realized that God would never abandon him. 

Pray now for those in government who need the “solar look.” Constantly “lift up [your] heart and hands to God in heaven” (Lamentations 3:41). Hope in God! Live for Him! Let your face speak for Him! 

Today’s Verse: Psalm 43:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul, 
    and why are you in turmoil within me? 
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, 
    my salvation and my God 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended for further reading: Lamentations 3:16-25 

He has made my teeth grind on gravel, 
    and made me cower in ashes; 
17 my soul is bereft of peace; 
    I have forgotten what happiness is; 
18 so I say, “My endurance has perished; 
    so has my hope from the Lord.” 

19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings, 
    the wormwood and the gall! 
20 My soul continually remembers it 
    and is bowed down within me. 
21 But this I call to mind, 
    and therefore I have hope: 

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
    his mercies never come to an end; 
23 they are new every morning; 
    great is your faithfulness. 
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, 
    “therefore I will hope in him.” 

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, 
    to the soul who seeks him. 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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