The “Correcting Gaze” of God
Psalm 39 is an interesting psalm. David begins with an awareness of his own sin, and the need for him to keep quiet. Then he begins a section that discusses the brevity of life and the futility of gathering riches. In the second half of the psalm David writes about God’s “hand” on him in a very heavy way. He writes about the correction of God that is going on in his life. The last paragraph is an unusual one. Here it is: “Hear my prayer, O Lord, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers were. 13 Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, Before I go away and am no more.” David is aware of God’s hand of correction on his life and he both desires it and desires that it go away. That last sentence, “Remove your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more” is such an interesting sentence. Have you ever wanted/desired correction and at the same time wanted it to stop? I know that I have and I think that’s what David is referring to. David knows that he needs what God is doing but at the same time wants God to stop. I wonder if this is what chemotherapy patients feel. They know that they need the medicine but the effects of it are undesirable. Sure, in the long run it’s going to be better but right now, the short term effects are not desirable.
God’s eye is on us…His gaze is there. At times it doesn’t feel good…we wish it would go away. But we need to know that God’s gaze is for our good and for His glory. Don’t try to hide. Expose yourself willingly to God’s corrective gaze and presence.