Every smile does not reveal love. An enemy can smile at you because he got the victory over you and is happy about his victory. Satan often uses a "friendly" smile upon the face of one he uses to try to lead you into a particular sin and to depart from a particular truth of Scripture.
But when God smiles upon us, it is a manifestation of His love to us. And in Psalm 80:1 Asaph speaks of God's smile upon His people, when he writes, "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth." And rightly our versification has it this way:
Great Shepherd Who leadest Thy people in love,
'Mid cherubim dwelling, shine Thou from above;
In might come and save us, Thy people restore
And we shall be saved when Thy face shines once more.
God's smile is rooted in and caused by His love that brings us safely to a life of most wonderful, covenant fellowship with Him. And Asaph speaks of this when he calls God our shepherd Who leads us like a flock. For a shepherd cares for his sheep and strives to bring them where all is well with them.
Then too, that He shines forth from between the cherubim means that He smiles in a love that sent His Son to the torment of hell, that we might be led like a flock into the new Jerusalem and its glories. For those cherubim were on the covering of the ark, and it was on that mercy seat that the typical blood of Christ was sprinkled to cover our sins. And O how that death of Christ revealed God's love to us, and why God can smile down upon us, who by nature are vile, filthy sinners, worthy of being destroyed by Him.
Call then to that Shepherd, that Great Shepherd, on the basis of that cross of His only begotten Son. Never try to come to Him in any other way.
If you want to see and enjoy God's smile of love upon you, seek Him in the blood of His Son. If you want to live in the joy of having a Shepherd Who is leading you to glory, look to that cross of Christ.
Quote for Reflection:
… Christians must receive and believe the gospel alone, as it is said: ‘Repent and believe the gospel.’ ‘That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.’ (Mark 1:15. 1 Corinthians 2:5) The sum and substance of the gospel, or of those things which are to be believed, is the Apostles creed. -- Zacharias Ursinus
- Date: 24-April