Many seek the ruler's favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord. Proverbs 29:26
Where do you get justice in our world? Today's proverb weighs in on this issue in a way that reminds us that we need to keep an eternal perspective on all things. This world may seek what they call justice from the officials who rule over it, but true justice for mankind comes from God.
Many do seek the ruler's favor - and consider that justice. The problem comes when you realize that rulers are not always righteous. There are rulers and officials who receive bribes and favors to turn justice toward the one who gave them. Another problem arises when you read the statement that "many" seek the ruler's favor. That means if your bribe is not high enough, you lose. If someone else comes along and offers something more or something better, justice goes to the highest bidder. Such was the case with Haman, Mordecai, and Esther. Haman, angry with Mordecai because he would not bow down to him - paid a ridiculous amount of money to the king to have "his justice" enforced. That justice did not involve punishment on Mordecai - but on the entire nation of Israel. He did not want Mordecai to be punished alone - he wanted the extermination of his entire race. The price was right - and a decree was made to have the Jews destroyed kingdom-wide. Thus goes justice when you seek the ruler's favor. The real problem for Haman though, was the justice he bought was not final. When Esther gave two banquets for the king, told him he was a Jew, and on top of all this the king later learned that Mordecai had saved his life - the price for this justice went much higher. In the end, justice from the king meant Haman's hanging, the destruction of his entire family, and the destruction of Israel's enemies in the city and throughout the kingdom.
God warns those He puts in authority repeatedly against taking bribes perverting justice for a price. Although power can corrupt - and absolute power can corrupt absolutely - God alone is the One Who cannot be corrupted. Therefore wisdom tells us that, "justice for man comes from the Lord." God's justice is based on His perfect righteousness and justice. He does not have such things - He IS such things. God does not base justice on a set of laws given by others - He is the Lawgiver, He is the Source of righteousness, and He is the Judge. His throne is founded on justice and righteousness. When He speaks, He speaks with absolute authority - and - with absolute, perfect just and right decisions. When He speaks and judges - His statements are final - and always beyond question. Here is what He said about Himself when revealing Himself to Moses. "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 34:6-8) God is just - but our salvation is not His justice, but His mercy and grace.
Justice for man truly does come from The Lord. The gospel bears this out. God is just and the Justifier of the one who believes in Jesus Christ. He carried out His perfect, absolute justice when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross. If there ever was a time when God might have set aside justice and righteousness - it would have been for His Son. But God's justice is perfect - and Christ had to die for sins for man to be forgiven and made righteous in God's sight. Thus the fullness of God's justice and wrath fell on His Son that day. But . . . as a result, justice for man comes from the Lord. We have a choice - to face the full brunt of God's wrath for our sins ourselves - or to turn to Jesus Christ, believe on Him, and receive grace and mercy. The Just God - had His justice satisfied by the death of His Son for sin. Now He will justify (declare rightoeous) anyone who turns to His Son in repentance and faith. No man can offer such a thing. Therefore the wise man is the one who seeks absolute justice, not from fickle men who can change justice as often as they change socks, but from God. He will not only give just decisions here on earth between men - but will give the ultimate justice to us in heaven - not based on us paying the price of our sins - but based on the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor. Proverbs 21:21
What are you pursuing in life? It is not unusual to hear someone say that they are pursuing a career in some field of endeavor. When we hear someone say this we know that they are puting their energies and their time into study and practice of that discipline. It means that they have a goal in front of them and that goal is what guides them in much of what they do. Thus the question begs to be asked, "What are your pursuing when it comes to spiritual things?"
God points us to wisdom by telling us that there are two things that are very worthy of pursuit when it comes to spiritual matters. These two things are righteousness and loyalty. Today we will take a closer look at what it means to pursue these two things. We will also see in the rewards that God says come to those to follow this pursuit the reason why this is exceedingly wise.
When God says to pursue these things He uses the word, "radaph." This word means to chase or to follow after closely and with great effort and energy. The idea is that one is not just to pursue - but one is to overtake these things. The mindset is that we will not be content with a life without righteousness and without loyalty. These are things we must have - and thus in our pursuit we are passionate and totally committed. This is not a hobby or just something to add to our resume. This is a hot pursuit that is pleased only with the eventual 'catching' or 'having' of these things. Nothing else will do.
We pursue righteousness - which in Hebrew is "tsedequah." This word means righteousness abstractly - but when applied to how we live our lives it speaks of moral rectitude - of a desire to have our lives measure up to a standard of right and good that is found in God and in His Word. It speaks of living a life of justice in how we relate to others and especially how we relate to the poor and unfortunate. The word refers to a moral standard that is not set according to the world and its views. The moral standard and sentiment we embrace is that which is found in the pages of Scripture. Yet the righteousness we seek is not by law. The Scriptures which speak of this righteousness say that we obtain it by faith. It is not a set of rules - it is a person - the Lord Jesus Christ. Ultimately we pursue Him for only He can transform us and make us righteous.
We also pursue loyalty. The Hebrew word used here is "chesed" which refers to more than just a loyalty. This is the word that most closely relates to the New Testament word grace. It is the word that is used to describe God's love and commitment to His covenant people. It is easily translated, "covenant-love." Paul says to us in the New Testament to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. What we are to pursue in life is the grace of God. We live by grace - and advance in life by grace. In pursuing grace - we are kind of pursuing the One who is pursuing us. We pursue love and commitment. We pursue a selflessness that is evidenced by the love of God in Christ Jesus. Kind of cool here to see that even in an Old Testament proverb we are told to pursue righteousness by faith and a God who gives us such a righteousness by His loving, selfless grace.
What will we find when we give ourselves to such a pursuit? We are told of three things. First is that we will receive life. "Chayim" is the word for life here - and it simply means life itself. We are made alive when we pursue these two wonderful things. Consider the New Testament call to us - that when we pursue Christ, Who is the ultimate source of life - the ultimate way of life - and who is the life itself - we receive eternal life. This is the life of God, Who alone is eternal. We have a quality of life that can only be received from God Himself. Second in our set of three blessings is "righteousness." This is the same word as was used earlier - and it simply means that in seeking and pursuing righteousness - we receive righteousness as a gift by faith - through the grace of God. This does not mean we attain righteousness by our own choice of lifestyle. The fact is we are given righteousness by a gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We are stunned to learn that when God gives us this gift - we are just as righteous as Jesus Himself - by God's wonderful gift - and as a result of that - we can be transformed to reflect that righteousness in all our ways. The third in this list of glorious benefits is honor. The word for honor here is "kavod" and it is the word God uses for glory. When we pursue the proper things - it is to the glory of God - and we receive from it the honor of His working in our hearts. What a glorious gift is ours - to receive the glory of salvation - the glory of God's righteousness - the glory of being at peace with God - the glory of His marvelous transformation of our lives. This is ours when we pursue the One Who in His mercy pursues us by grace.
Want to know what to pursue in life? Pursue God! That is the ultimate answer when all is said and done with today's proverb. It is a wise thing to pursue God - and to pursue His righteousness by His grace. This is both the ultimate pursuit in life and the ultimate prize! Oh the glories of pursuing the One Who pursues us! Oh the joy of capturing the One Who by grace captures our hearts. Pursue, dearest saints - pursue for you will find as you do - that you are gloriously pursued by the One Who loves you more than you could ever dream of being loved!
A man's gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. Proverbs 18:16
When one appears before great men, there is a wonderful Asian practice of coming with a gift. This can be construed as a bribe to some - but that is not how those in Asian culture view it. They view it as wise and right to bring a gift with you when you come to see someone - and - the greater the person, the more important the gift. Over the years I have had the privilege and honor to pastor several Chinese and Japanese Christians. One thing I have seen in their actions is that they will bring me a gift when they come to see me. For me this is a precious thing - and it is also humbling. Their gifts are never something casual or thoughtless. They always take the time to consider what I might enjoy - and they delight in giving it.
This proverb is trying to get us to see the value in being generous with others. We will never be the poorer for genuinely giving gifts of love and respect to others. We will also benefit from seeing the value of letting those in important positions know that we both respect them and value what they can contribute to our lives. This is why we read that this gift will both make room for us and bring us before great men.
An example of this was how the Queen of Sheba came before Solomon. She sought an audience with the king. When she came she brought a huge gift - involving spices, a special type of wood, and other very valuable items. She came with these things to receive Solomon's wisdom - and to see this great king of which she had heard. What is interesting is the practice of the noble men and women who receive such people who come with thoughtful gifts. Solomon first answered all her questions - leaving her breathless as she heard him and saw his court. But we read at the close of the passage that she left receiving more than she had given. The kings and rulers of the East were given to their liberality in response to the graciousness of others. The Queen of Sheba left with more than she gave. This is a type as well for us of how we come before God. We may come giving liberally - but we leave far wealthier than we came. We receive the graciousness of our Lord and King - and the level of blessing which He can grant. That, dear friends is amazing - but often that kind of display is reserved for those who first show respect, honor, and an open hand in how they give to the Lord of all. May our level of giving never hinder us from blessing, but release it gloriously into our lives.
Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:25-26
Sudden fear, dread, terror that comes suddenly - all these are things that wisdom will protect us from in our lives. Now please do not misunderstand that this passage is not saying that bad things will never happen to good people. We all know that we've grieved over godly people who have been killed in car accidents and in other disasters. But what is promised here is that the godly - those who build their lives on wisdom - who are guided by the north star of God's Word - will not have the "onslaught of the wicked" when they are punished for their wickedness.
Let me quote several passages of Scripture to help us grasp this concept of the Word. Psalm 121
tells us of the protective care of the Lord. Verses three and four are especially comforting to us. "He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep." (Psalm 121:3-4
) God promises great peace and protection to those whose lives are guided by His wisdom. But for the wicked God promises that this thing called, sudden terror and sudden fear will come upon them. Proverbs 1:26
-27 speaks of a "dread" that comes upon the wicked. It says that dread, calamity, and distress will come like a storm and like a whirlwind. Then again in Psalm 49
we read of the foolish and those who approve their foolish words this terrifying statement made by the Lord, "As sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd; And the upright shall rule over them in the morning, And their form shall be for Sheol to consume So that they have no habitation." (Psalm 49:14
The above passages instruct us as to the end of the foolish who ignore and mock God's wisdom and Word. They will have a sudden end that will overtake them. In Psalm 73
David struggled with why the wicked often seem to have it so good in their lives here on the earth. He came to the point of almost losing his faith and betraying others who followed God with all their hearts. Then he said that he came into the sanctuary and saw the latter end of these who walk in wickedness and foolishness. He spoke of how suddenly they fall and are destroyed. No matter how good anyone has it here on the earth, they will one day face God in the judgment. No matter how awesome they have it now - there is a latter end for them when all their deeds will follow them to that place of ultimate payback or reward. The wicked who will not turn from their sinful ways will face this ultimate dread - but the godly who order their ways according to God's wisdom will not have this happen to them.
We are told in verse 26 that Jehovah will be our "confidence." The Hebrew word for "confidence" here is fascinating because of what is points to spiritually. The word is "kesel" and it means a sense of confidence and security. It also points to an area of the body - the midsection or specifically the area where our kidneys are located. The reason this is fascinating is because in Leviticus 3:4
; Leviticus 4:9
and Leviticus 7:4
this exact same word is used of sacrifices that were made before God. In Leviticus 3
it is used of the peace offering that was made before God. In Leviticus 4
it was the sin offering and in chapter 7 it spoke of the guilt offering. When we consider this word and its usage it paints a beautiful picture for us of what Christ does for us. These were all pictures of how these sacrifices would take care of sin and promise peace to those who confessed their sin and brought them to God for a payment for that sin. They were all precursors of what Jesus Christ would do through His death and resurrection. Thus the idea here is that our confidence is not in ourselves but rather in our Lord. That is exactly what this verse says - that Jehovah will be our confidence.
We are also told that our foot will not be caught in the snares of the wicked - in the things which their lifestyles bring upon them. Our foot will be firmly planted on a rock - the Rock Christ Jesus. We will have our lives firmly planted in the Word of God - which is the rock upon which the house that did not fall was built. The sand of the world system and its shifting views of truth and godliness will not stand in that day. Instead they will face the sudden fear and sudden onslaught of God's judgment in the end. But for those of us who love the Lord and live according to His wisdom, our ultimate fears are gone - taken away by the grace of God and the "kidneys of Jesus Christ" which were offered on our behalf as a peace offering, a guilt offering, and a sin offering which brings us into God's favor and protection. Learn to delight, not in yourself and your own strength, but rather in God who freely has given us forgiveness and grace in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. Proverbs 10:12
Two things are compared in this verse in Proverbs. They are hatred and love. We see the emotions and choices of both of these things - and because Proverbs is all about wisdom, we also see what they eventually will yield. If you need a proverb that will aid you in having good relationships, this would be a great one to learn.
First we see hatred. The word used here is "sinah" and it means a strong feeling of hatred. It is used of hatred that one human feels toward another. This hatred can be so strong that it can lead to murder - but it doesn't always end this way. Usually the manifestation is that it leads to dissension and unrest between two people - and often a broken relationship. Hatred may begin as a feeling - but soon hatred will bring us to a choice. The choice that is illustrated here is that of strife. Where someone has hatred in their heart, strife and discord cannot be far behind. We can choose to deal with our hatred in a biblical fashion - which is what the second half of this proverb relates to us. But if we will not deal with our hatred biblically - then that hatred will result in strife. We are told that hatred "stirs up" strife. The concept here is that of arousing and awakening someone. It refers to an agitating action. Hatred is a motivator - and it wants to motivate someone and agitate them to where they start a fight. This can be verbal - or as we have seen in worst case scenarios - even physical to the point of death. That is why we must immediately respond to hate when it rises up within our hearts.
We might find it interesting that God wants us to hate sin and hate evil. These are things God does not want us to have decent relationships with in life. We are to hate these things - and allow that hatred to stir us to stiving with sin and godlessness until we reject and refuse them in our lives. But when hatred is felt toward "someone" we are walking in dangerous territory.
The second half of this proverb tells us that love covers all transgressions. The words used here are very expressive. The love that is mentioned here is the very love of a man for a woman or the love of God for His people. This kind of love is selfless, self-giving love. When we love like this - it covers all transgressions. The word "cover" is the Hebrew word "kasah" and it means to clothe or conceal something. This is not the "cover-up" that we refer to when speaking of illegal activity. It is the covering and concealing that happens when one thing covers another. This word was used to speak of what the water did to the Egyptians when God had the Red Sea cover them. It is also used metaphorically in the Scripture of something that covers the shame of the guilty. But in order to fully understand what is said here we need to combine all the words used. Love covers all transgression. Transgression speaks of rebellion against God and His Law. It speaks of rebellion of one individual against another.
Love chooses to cover over these times of rebellion. When we look at this whole proverb we see that the usual response to transgression and rebellion is hatred and the strife that results from it. But what God desires is for us to respond with love - so that relationships will be blessed - even when one party doesn't contribute or want peace.
The most awesome way we see this truth illustrated is by God Himself with sinful mankind. We have chosen rebellion and disobedience - even hatred of the things of God. Yet God in His love chooses not to judge us immediately. His love was manifest fully in Christ. He chose to love us - and God manifests His love in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. This is love in its most glorious form. That love covers all transgressions - and makes it possible for grace to bring salvation to men. As we have reaped the glorious benefits of salvation from God's grace, may we also reap the blessings of donning His character in our response to slights of others. This is the way to redeem a relationship rather than let it take the fallen, natural course that is usually followed. What a wisdom is ours when we see a whole way of relating to one another in the cross. May God use it to bless you in your relationships in the weeks and months to come.
"How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:22
If they only knew . . . this is the way that a lot of statements begin about those who reject Biblical truth and the Biblical world view. But this statement assumes that the only problem that is present is a lack of information - a lack of education. Yet today's proverb seems to present a different picture. There are those who even if educated would persist in their worldview and ignorance. Could it actually be that there is a deeper problem in the human race than a lack of education?
Three descriptions are given here about how people view their world. The first is the person who is naive. According to what is written in this proverb, the naive ones actually love their naivete. They enjoy their simple-mindedness. The word used here is "pethi" which means to be naive. The picture that this paints for us though is of someone who is very open minded. In fact to them the greatest character trait that you can have is to be as open-minded as possible. The root for this word means to be wide open and spacious. It refers to someone whose mind is as wide open as can be - to everything - to every view that is out there. The only thing this person cannot tolerate is a view that is considered narrow in its focus. The naive person thinks that everyone would be able to get along - if we would all just accept each others views as equally valid. This is the case even when the views in question are diametrically opposed to each other. This is the post-modernist whose most valued idea is tolerance. They love their open-mindedness so much that they will pretty much gut the real truth of any position so that everyone can have their opinion, be right for themselves, and never a threat to each other.
The writer asks, "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?" The fact is that all views can't get along with each other. There has to eventually be a right and a wrong. There are some worldviews that are just flat out wrong. Look at Mao in China. To say that his view of communism, which was responsible for the murder of over 50 million people is ludicris! To say that Hitler's position is equally valid with that of Mother Theresa is insane. Yet the naive want everyone's view to be equally valid. They love their naivete so much that they will frontal lobotomize themselves when it comes to thinking to have every view just as valid. Europe took this view as Hitler rose to power - and each and every step along the way, Hitler took advantage of it to Blitzkrieg his way accross most of northern Europe. He wouldn't have been stopped except that at some point the naive ones realized that their open-mindedness could not fit him and his views of the world.
The second group are the scoffers. These are the ones who scoff and mock at the things of God. They belittle them as subpar thinking and subpar reasoning. They don't know how to build up - just tear down. They love their own scoffing, delighting in it every step of the way. They see it as a great thing when someone denigrates Christ, the Bible, or the church in some way. But their scoffing becomes such a lifestyle that they can offer nothing positive in reply. They only become bitter, self-centered critics who have nothing to offer anyone - except a constant cry to destroy and level anything related to God.
The third group are the fools. These are the spiritual dullards and dupes who don't want to be bothered by the facts. According to this passage they hate knowledge. This word speaks of knowledge, knwoing, learning, discernment, and insight. They do not want God's wisdom in their lives and will reject it when it is offered.
Now here is the amazing thing about this passage. None of these three types can have their lack of wisdom repaired by education alone. Their problem is not a lack of information. It is that they don't want the information. They enjoy their simple-mindedness, their scoffing, and their foolish worldview. They need something more than just information and knowledge. They need a change in their heart as a result of a work of God's Spirit in their minds. How do I know this? Because of the very next verse in chapter 1. These three groups are encouraged to "turn to God's reproof. They will have to see their views as wrong, and be willing to turn from them to God's correction. They need the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon them where they will then be able to receive the words that are spoken to them. Their problem is a heart level problem - not just an education level one. They delight in their views - and reject anything that would threaten them. Until there is a heart change - there will be no embracing of any kind of educational outreach to them.
This is actually the view of classic Christianity. The problem with mankind is not just one of proper education. We can educate someone for decades and unless there is a heart change wrought by the grace of God, they will continue to reject the truth. As Romans chapter one puts it, God's wrath is revealed against the unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. They want their sin. They want their foolishness. They want their unrighteous ways. No amount of education that leaves their hearts unregenerated will do them any good whatsoever. There must be repentance and a change initiated and completed by the work of God's Holy Spirit. If that does not happen - they will simply continue to reject the truth and embrace their unrighteousness - whether it is dressed up as naivete, scoffing, or foolishness. What we see here is that only the grace of God can take a man and change him from a fool into a wise man. Oh, that we would pray that God's grace would touch the hearts of men to convert them from darkness to light - and from the foolishness of this world to the wisdom of God.
The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for
a broken spirit who can bear it? Proverbs 18:14
There are two kinds of sickness that can come upon us. One is a sickness that we can endure and bear - but there is a second type mentioned in the Scripture that is impossible to bear without the work and grace of God being upon us.
We are told that the spirit of a man can endure his sickness. This sickness mentioned here is the word used for various illnesses that come upon us due to the face that we live in a fallen world. The entrance of sin into our world ruined it. It also introduced sickness and death into our world as well. But a man's spirit can help him endure his sickness. I am about to share something that will cause some to react badly. If we live in this world, we are going to face illness and sickness. Because of the fall of man and the entrance of sin into our world - sickness also came into it as well. What I mean by this is NOT that anyone who is sick must have sinned. That is false doctrine. But what I do mean is that when sin entered the human race - death did as well. Now all things are running down - aging - and generally falling apart. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that things are moving from order to disorder. That is true in our very makeup itself. Our cells are breaking down - our DNA is liable to mutation (which is never good) - and we will slowly fall apart until we physically die. This is fact. Those who think we can go through all of life simply confessing divine health - and therefore never having to be sick or adversely affected by the degeneration of our world or ourselves are sadly mistaken. They to will die due to the sin of man.
Now, before I completely depress you, let me return to our proverb today. Our spirit can help us endure sickness. There is an inner strength that is granted to us in our spirit that helps us deal with the fact that we are human. We will make it through sickness. I've seen the extreme of this in believers who glorify God in the midst of terminal illnesses. There is something so alive and strong in them - even in the midst of their last days. They conquer death - even as they face it. That is the power of God working in our spirits.
But the Proverb does warn of a second sickness that is unbearable to the human condition. "But as for a broken spirit who can bear it?" The word for broken here is so telling. It does not refer to what we experience at the end of a romance - the famous broken heart of romantic movies and novels. This broken spirit is one that is stricken and scouraged. It refers to more than just suffering. It refers to when we come to see that everything we can live for in this life means nothing. It is the brokenness that God actually seeks to bring us to in life. It is a brokenness that cannot be cured with more stuff or more power. It won't be solved by a new romance - or another boyfriend or girlfriend. This brokenness goes to the very depths of our spirit. It is God telling us that we cannot be self-repaired. We need Him. That is why the wise man poses the question, "Who can bear it?" No one can - except he turn to God. Only He can reach to the very core of our deadness and cause our spirit to come alive. This work He does by the Spirit of God as He applies the gospel of Jesus Christ to our broken condition. Then we find ourselves fixed - and actually far more than fixed. We are reborn - and our spirit comes alive as the Holy Spirit grants us the very life of God.
The wise man knows as he sees and endures the sicknesses of this present world that something is terribly wrong with this world. The death that reigns over this present world points us to a much deeper death that reigns over our souls. This brokenness of spirit can only be repaired by God. He has given the cure in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And . . . a wise man knows to turn to God for His ultimate remedy for a broken spirit.
In the light of a king's face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain. Proverbs 16:15
This verse in Proverbs is given as a second statement about rulers - and it comes from a positive point of view. Verse 14 dealt with the fury of a king - while this one deals with his favor.
The light of a king's face is life. No one knew this more than Esther, who dared come into the presence of king Ahasuerus without being summoned. She knew that there was a punishment for this kind of action - death. Only if he extended the golden scepter to her would she be delivered from the death penalty for such an offense. To receive such an action was to be allowed to see the king's face. That meant that he was showing her grace and favor.
The favor of the king is also compared to a cloud with the spring rain. This was called the "latter" rain - and it was the rain that was absolutely necessary if a good crop was to be expected. Without these latter rains, the crops would be killed by the lack of rain. When these clouds would come up over the land, people would rejoice because they knew that God had blessed them and that they were going to have a crop that would bear abundantly. So also the favor of the king meant that blessing was coming. In the culture at the time the king had absolute power. If he decreed that you were to die - you would die. If you knew his favor - then great blessing would come to you and your family.
We sing a song in worship at Calvary that goes this way, "Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, Your my glory, and the lifter of my head." This song deals with something very similar to this verse. The lifting of the head was a symbol that the one who had previously bowed to the king was being allowed to see his face - and thus receive his favor. If you remember in the book of Esther, when the king was furious with Haman, a black bag was put over his head. This symbolized that he would NEVER see the face of the king again. It also meant death.
The amazing thing about this whole idea of the light of the king's face is the way that is reflects to us the message of the gospel. There is a King that we all have to approach one day at the end of the age. He is a King Whose holiness prevents us from coming before Him without being judged for our sin. Were we to try to approach Him unworthily, we would be consumed by His wrath and righteous judgment upon sin. But there is also One who has gone before us - Jesus Christ - and who has taken our sin and paid the full penalty for our sin. He has taken the judgment. Not only this, but He has also given us His perfect righteousness - by which we can stand before God accepted and welcomed. Truly Jesus Christ is the light of the King's face to us - and he is the reason God's favor can be granted to us. May God ever remind us of the grace gloriously showered upon us by His gracious act in Christ - and may we rejoice in His favor like the clouds filled with the latter rains. Christ has opened the way and brought us to see the King's face with favor - favor purchased by His death, burial, and resurrection. Glory to God for His grace, favor, and the joy of seeing His face in Christ Jesus.