God's Smile: For Our Understanding and Appreciation
Have you ever thought of God as smiling? It may be easier to imagine Him being a serious judge, an angry parent or a disappointed friend dealing with our delinquent behavior; but in keeping with His character of love, compassion and forgiveness, the vision of a smiling God is appropriate.
What the old King James Version of the Bible refers to as God’s face shining upon us (Numbers 6:25) or as “the light of His countenance” (Psalm 4: 6), is translated in newer versions as His smile.
From the following five verses in the New Living Translation, we can deduce that His smiles (symbolized by light in the older versions) represent His grace, His favor or approval. When we demonstrate love, respect and trust toward Him, He is pleased (Psalm 147:11) and He smiles.
References to God's Smile
(1) May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. (Numbers 6: 25)
As part of the Old Testament benediction at the end of the daily service, the priest was asking for God to reveal Himself to the people [as opposed to hiding His face in a cloud], and give them direction for the day. (Matthew Poole's Commentary)
(2) May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us. (Psalm 67: 1)
An echo of the priestly blessing [Numbers 6:24, 25] but not necessarily uttered by a priest. (Pulpit Commentary)
(3) Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. (Psalm 85:11)
"There was an anxiety, so to speak, to come to the earth - to meet the human need. As the rain and the sunbeams seem anxious to bestow their blessings on man, so God seems anxious to bestow on man the blessings of salvation." (Barnes' Notes)
(4) When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain. (Proverbs 16: 15)
God's favor is compared with the spring rain of March and April in Palestine, which brings fertility and vigor, causing the grains to swell and ripen. (Pulpit Commentary)
(5) O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary. (Daniel 9: 17)
The temple walls had been demolished, its altars destroyed and that looked to the people like God frowning on them. Daniel was praying that the favor of His smile would make a way for the restoration of the temple and worship.(Gill's Exposition)
Poem: Lord Give Us Your Smile
The poem is a prayer for God's smile throughout the day. It is inspired by Psalm 4:6 (NLT):
Let your face smile on us, Lord.
The author has a heart to please God by recognizing and trusting His guidance at the beginning and the start of the day and every moment in between. The prayer does not presume that we always deserve God's smile, but that His smile will provide some encouragement to please Him. It expresses appreciation for His divine favor.
We begin a new journey when the new day starts;
Yesterday’s steps recede as night departs;
We face today with the understanding
That brand new challenges may be pending.
We do our devotion and our meditation;
We give You the control of our situation;
And it boosts our faith if just for a while,
We envision Your fatherly face with a smile.
Your smile gives direction; Your smile bestows joy;
Your smile provides courage over fears that annoy;
Your smile imparts strength for the daily mile;
With the gift of a new day, Lord, give us Your smile.
As the day progresses and our work takes it toll,
We input our influence on history’s scroll.
We try to lift the burdens of others,
Regardless whether they’re foes or brothers.
We do what we can and we hope that we’re right;
But we make errors, some are plain oversight.
It helps to prevent us from feeling vile
If we know You watch over us with a smile.
Your smile says You’ll complete what You started in us;
Your smile makes us lessen our worries and fuss;
Your smile proves our efforts are not futile;
In the heat of the workday, Lord, give us Your smile.
And when the day ends and the time comes to retire
From the hustle and bustle of labor for hire;
We may rest and reflect on the impact we made,
And wonder if we caused Your smile to fade.
The words that we’ve spoken, and the deeds we’ve done;
Do not count for credit; their sum total is none.
We trust in Your grace, and record in Your file,
That we crave Your blessing and Your smile.
Your smile reminds us of Your love and Your grace;
Your smile urges our hearts to put You in first place;
Your smile is enduring; our lives are fragile
At the end of life’s day, Lord give us Your smile.
© 2012 Dora Weithers