I’m sitting on the front porch of the RV Park office, enjoying the warm air and complementing breeze. I moved my office work out of doors today – it’s easier to think. The hum of lawnmowers fills my ears, sometimes louder, sometimes more distant, as the lawn crew cuts the ever-growing grass at Peachtree Cove.
I’ve been mulling over a verse in my mind for some time now, meditating on its incredible implications. I title this post, then stop to look up the word “profound” to be sure I’m using it correctly. I’m not. I thought it could be equated with “straightforward, plain, obvious, unmistakeable,” and other such words. What I find instead is that it is nothing so surface, but quite the opposite. In some contexts, “intense, deep, extreme” are synonyms; in others, “wise, learned, clever, intelligent.” Not what I expected to find, but I like the meaning even better. I leave the post title alone. Now for the verse and its more-than-surface beauty.
“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” -Psalm 97:11
I like to break verses apart into parts of speech; it helps make the meaning clearer. “For the righteous,” “for the upright,” and “in heart” are the prepositional phrases. “Light” and “gladness” are the subjects. The words “Is” and “sown” comprise the verb.
Light and gladness. At first glance, these two seem to be very similar. They both have a shiny aspect, at least in my mind. But light, in a scientific sense, is essential for life, and gladness is not. The Hebrew definition for the word “light” here allows for either a natural or a spiritual interpretation. Looking at the surrounding verses, it seems that this light does not have much to do with the sun or other natural light. This light pertains to the souls and futures of the righteous; it is the direction provided by the Word of God and the blessed presence of God’s Son. (Psalm 119:105; Revelation 21:23)
Light and gladness. Gladness is not just the state of being “calmly happy” found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16. No, no, this gladness is high glee and lightheartedness.
Is sown. This is figurative, and refers to planting. There are not immediate results perhaps, but after a time fruit will be born. It is the promise of future blessing.
Light and gladness are sown – these two are set before us as sure elements in the futures of the righteous and the upright in heart. Ultimately, the only ones who fit into these categories are those redeemed by the blood of Christ, but it doesn’t stop there. ALL who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ are included in this beautiful statement, for Christ has imputed to us His own perfect righteousness. (Romans 3:21-22)
I am still sitting on the porch of the Park office. Much has happened since I opened at the beginning. By now my attention has been splintered between Park concerns and the care of a skittish gray and white kitten. I have fetched needed articles from the office for the landscape crew. I am currently keeping watch over a bag of dead duck remains, and the hum of lawnmowers still rings steadily in my ears. But my heart is full of the goodness of the Lord. Light and gladness are being sown every day for me. This is truly a profound statement of hope.