Tens of millions of people are excited today, because it is “Super Bowl Sunday”. They will gather to watch the biggest football game of the year. Multiplied millions of dollars have been spent — while out I saw a pickup truck yesterday with a new 65″ big screen tv in a box in the back; no coincidence that he bought the tv the day before the big game! Snacks are being prepared; and the internet has been filled with recipes for snacks for the big event. And many Christians, including myself, will be joining in. But there is a difference for us.
Psalm 4:7 says that the believer in Jesus Christ has something more. It says: “You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.” In other words, the Christian has a joy that is MORE than that which is based on circumstances: more than “grain and new wine”; more than the “happiness” of the party.
So what is it? Verse 6, just previous to this one, gives us the answer: “Many are saying ‘Who will show us any good?’ Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD.” What is the “good” for which so many are longing? What is the source of the gladness that is “more than when their grain & new wine abound”? It is the “countenance” — or face — of God.
God originally made us to be thrilled and fulfilled in the presence of His glory. But mankind separated ourselves from His glory by our sin (“all have sinned and fall short of the GLORY of God” Romans 3:23) But Jesus came to pay for our sins by His death on the cross, to reconcile us with God, “that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Thess. 2:14) Once thus reconciled, the Christian finds in his walk with the Lord true satisfaction and joy: “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.” (Psalm 17:15) He learns to let “the light of (His) countenance” shine on him each day as he worships Him; and looks forward to eternity in heaven before His face, where he will experience that glory perfectly: “In Your presence there is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11)
So can a Christian enjoy the big game, and Super Bowl Sunday? Sure. But win or lose, it isn’t the source of his joy. And that game is not his brightest hour that day. That comes for him earlier in the day, as he basks in the light of the countenance of His God in his private devotional hour. And his most satisfying gathering that Sunday is not in front of the television, but with those who, like him, can watch the game with an inner satisfaction, knowing that they’ve already enjoyed something better than the Super Bowl that day!