Reading through the Bible together
Like the previous Psalm, this Psalm was written in at time of national distress, and it is also a plea for God’s intervention. But this Psalm takes a different tone. It’s a softer appeal, filled with remembrances of better times. It speaks of God as the Shepherd, and of the keeper of the vineyard. It has a tone of submission, of a people now willing to allow God to lead, to guide, to train and to tend His flock.
There is in this psalm a reference to the Shekinah glory, first mentioned in verse one: “You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!” This is continued in verses three and seven, where the Psalmist pleads, “Cause Your face to shine” and repeated again in the last verse. The children of Israel had known a time when the Glory of God was in the midst of them. They had the literal, physical presence of God dwelling among them in the sanctuary. What warmth and comfort is found in that thought!
For the Hebrews, God was envisioned as a light. He was the fire in the burning bush in Moses’ wilderness. He was the light shining from the fiery cloud that led the Hebrews through the desert. He was the glow they saw on Moses’ face after he had been with God. Have you ever imagined what it would be like to follow a fiery cloud through the wilderness? To have its light fill your home as you settle down in the evening to rest?
This same fiery presence is available to us, to have burning in our homes and in our hearts. After Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent us this fire. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” Acts 2:1-4.
It is through the Holy Spirit that we are brought back to the Shekinah Glory. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are re-connected to the God of the Hebrews, to the God who longs to live in our midst. It is my prayer that God will ignite the fire of his Holy Spirit in my life and in yours today!