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"As for me"

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
Psalm 17:15

In many of David’s psalms, the way of the wicked are often contrasted with the ways of the righteous. Such is the case in Psalm 17. In verse 15, the phrase, “As for me,” suggests a perspective which is in opposition to what has been said in previous verses. This phrase was notably uttered by Joshua in the last days of his life, when he spoke to the children of Israel. In Joshua 24:15 he challenged the people when he said “...choose you this day whom ye will serve”, either the heathen gods of the surrounding nations, or the Lord God of Israel. He then declared clearly and unequivocally, “...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

In verses 8 and 9 of Psalm 17, David had prayed that God would protect him from the oppression of evil men. In verse 14 he describes the wicked as “ of the world, which have their portion in this life.” By contrast, in Psalm 16:5, David states that “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup.” The unrighteous have worldly abundance and fill their bellies with hidden treasures, but do nothing about their souls. When their lives come to an end, they will leave their substance to all their children, who bear their likeness.

In verse 17, David is clearly not of this mind when he begins, “As for me”, for his assurance is that, one day he will behold the face of the Lord in righteousness. Such beholding will not be as “through a glass, darkly”, as we might behold Him in this life, but rather “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). In that day when we will behold Him face to face, it can only be in His righteousness, holiness and purity, having left behind the effects and influences of sin. In 1 John 3:2, we are promised that “...when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” When we awake in His presence one day to behold Him in all His glory and heavenly splendour, we will indeed be satisfied with His likeness.

Jerome Murphy

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