Psalm 17:15 (ESV) — 15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote it. The Stones performed it. Experts say it is one of the 100 songs that shook the world. Another says it is the most popular rock song ever written. And over 15 million people bought it to listen to over and over. And its message has been renewed and re-sung in countless ways by countless musicians. So we hear its more clever refrain in the words of Lyle Lovett: “So like the years and all the seasons pass
And like the sand runs through the hour glass
I just keep on running faster
Chasing the happily
I am ever after.”
King David knew better. He knew there can be no ultimate satisfaction in this life. That lack of satisfaction is not a condition to be remedied, but a reality to to be put into its proper context. For we were never meant to find satisfaction in this life. We are not meant to have that, until the resurrection.
David’s line can be taken 2 ways – and perhaps it is meant to be taken both ways.
a. When I awake in the resurrection, I will finally see your likeness God – and at last I will be fully satisfied.
b. When I awake in the resurrection, and your sanctifying work is fully done, I shall be satisfied having been conformed to your likeness.
Here alone is true satisfaction – beholding the likeness, the face of our Dear Redeemer, and being conformed to it. If we seek satisfaction anywhere else, we shall never obtain it. And if we are satisfied apart from it, we are the most blind, deceived and pitiable creatures of all.
And so we read in George MacDonald’s “The Diary of an Old Soul”
Thy fishes breathe but where thy waters roll; Thy birds fly but within thy airy sea;
My soul breathes only in thy infinite soul;
I breathe, I think, I love, I live but thee.
Oh breathe, oh think,—O Love, live into me;
Unworthy is my life till all divine,
Till thou see in me only what is thine.