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a Bible passage

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Make your face shine upon your servant,

and teach me your statutes.

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135. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant. There is here the repetition of a prayer which we have several times met with before in this Psalm. The Prophet intimates, that he regarded nothing as of more importance than rightly to understand the divine law. When he beseeches God to make his face to shine upon his servant, he, in the first place, seeks to win the fatherly favor of God — for nothing is to be hoped for from Him unless we have an interest in his favor — but he at the same time, shows the greatness of the blessing. There is no testimony of the love of God, as if he had said, which I am more desirous to obtain than to be enabled to make progress in his law. Whence we gather, as I have lately observed, that he preferred divine truth to all the possessions of the world. Would to God that this affection were vigorous in our hearts! But that which the Prophet extols so highly, is neglected by the great proportion of mankind. If individuals are to be found stimulated by this desire, we see them presently falling back to the Measurements of the world, so that there are very few, indeed, who renouncing all other desires, seek earnestly with David to become acquainted with the doctrine of the law. Besides, as God vouchsafes this privilege only to those whom he has embraced with his fatherly love, it is proper for us to begin with this prayer, That he would make his face to shine upon us. This form of expression, however, conveys something more — it implies, that it is only when God illumines the minds of his believing people with the true knowledge of the law, that he delights them with the beams of his favor. It often happens that, even in regard to them, God’s countenance is overcast with clouds in this respect, namely, when he deprives them of tasting the sweetness of his word.