As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness. -Psalm 17:15
Now, what should you think is the spirit of these words? “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
(T)hey breathe the spirit of a man entirely free from envy. Notice, that the Psalmist has been speaking of the wicked. “They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.” “They are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.” But David envies them not. “Go,” says he, “rich man, in all thy riches-go, proud man, in all thy pride-go, thou happy man, with thine abundance of children; I envy thee not; as for me, my lot is different: I can look on you without desiring to have your possessions. I can well keep that commandment, ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ for in your possessions there is nothing worth my love; I set no value upon your earthly treasures; I envy you not your heaps of glittering dust; for my Redeemer is mine.”
Oh! beloved, it is a happy thing to be free from envy…Envy is accursed of heaven; yea, it is Satan’s first-born-the vilest of vices… But give me freedom from envy; let me be content with what God has given me, let me say, “Ye may have yours, I will not envy you-I am satisfied with mine,” yea, give me such a love to my fellow creatures that I can rejoice in their joy, and the more they have the more glad I am of it. My candle will burn no less brightly because theirs outshines it. I can rejoice in their prosperity.
Envy! oh! may God deliver us from it! But how, in truth, can we get rid of it so well as by believing that ye have something that is not on earth, but in heaven? If we can look upon all the things in the world and say, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied by-and-bye!” I look upon the low places of this earth with contempt. I envy not your greatness, ye mighty emperors; I desire not your fame, ye mighty warriors; I ask not for wealth, O Croesus; I beg not for thy power, O Caesar; as for me, I have something else, my portion is the Lord.” The text breathes the spirit of a man free from envy. May God give that to us! ~ C.H. Spurgeon