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Friday, January 2 2015
Psalm 42: What Is Your Countenance Saying?
"Why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?"
The English word "countenance" originated from a Old French word, contenance, which meant to contain (the words container and contents originated from the same word). Although it literally referred to what was inside, it was used to describe how what was felt inside someone was expressed outside, primarily by facial expressions. The wide range of emotions, from happiness to grief, from love to hate, are expressed in one's countenance.
"Countenance" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced paw-neem, which means the face, but the Hebrew is broader and deeper in expressing the wide range of emotions of the "face."
The means to express "countenance" was created by the LORD because some of the muscles of the face have no other purpose than to express psychological feelings - sometimes even then with wide variation i.e. some of the same facial muscles that are used for laughing are also used for crying.
The first Biblical reference to countenance was that of Cain whose jealousy and animosity toward his brother was plainly visible in his facial expressions (see Cain and Abel).
"4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel.
The same sort of fallen countenance was exhibited by Laban when his nephew Jacob bested him in the business of their flocks (see Speckled and Spotted - How Did He Do It?; also A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria).
"31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.
Some people use their countenance as a religious show of self-righteousness (consider all of the religious illustrations that you have seen in which people are portrayed with a mournful countenance during their supposed worship of the LORD).
"6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
"16:11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he." (1 Samuel 16:11-12 KJV)
Righteousness is not based upon appearance alone however. Satan still has a beautiful countenance (see How Does Satan Impersonate Jesus Christ?). Actual behaviour is what "counts." The saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" applies even more so to people. Good must be inside and outside, not merely a shining facade that might be covering evil (see also How Are Your Sins Covered?).
"16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV)
King David recognized that even in times of distress, "I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance."
"42:1 To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.
This Day In History, January 2
69: The Roman Lower Rhine army (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) proclaimed its commander, Vitellius, as the 8th Roman emperor (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and The Politics Of Rome).
366: A large force of Alamanni (an alliance of ancient tribes of Germanic people) crossed the frozen Rhine River and invaded the Roman Empire. The Germanic nations eventually not only defeated the Roman Empire, but became "Rome" in the prophecy of the Middle Ages and yet-future (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
757: Aethelbald, king of the Mercians from 716, died. By 736 he was signing himself as "king of Britain."
1492: Spain recaptured the southern city of Granada from the Moors (an Arab and Berber people from North Africa who converted to Islam and conquered Spain in the 8th century), consolidating the monarchy under Ferdinand of Aragon. The same year, King Ferdinand and his wife Queen Isabella ordered the expulsion of all Jews from Spain, while sending Christopher Columbus, an explorer in their employ, off on his first voyage to the "new world" (Columbus actually only discovered the islands of the Caribbean Sea during his four voyages; see the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy). Ferdinand and Isabella were also responsible for the horrendous "Spanish Inquisition" in which many people all across Europe were tortured and killed for not allowing themselves to be subjected to the Church of Rome.
1757: Clive of India recaptured Calcutta after it had been seized by the Nawab of Bengal who used the infamous "Black Hole of Calcutta" to imprison British captives.
1839: Pioneering photographer Louis Daguerre of France took the first photograph of the moon.
1892: Sir George Airy died at age 91. The British scientist was the seventh Astronomer Royal. He reorganized the Royal Greenwich Observatory, installing new apparatus and rescued thousands of observations from loss. The Airy Disk, the central spot of light in the diffraction pattern of a point light source, is named after him.
1905: During the Russian-Japanese War, the Russians surrendered to the Japanese after the Battle of Port Arthur.
1936: In Berlin, Nazi officials claimed that their treatment of Jews was not any of the League of Nations business (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1937: Britain and Italy signed the Mediterranean Peace Pact. They were at war less than 2 years later.
1942: During the Second World War, in the Philippines, Japanese forces captured the capital Manila, along with the nearby air base.
1944: The first use of helicopters in actual combat, by the British Atlantic patrol.
1959: The first human lunar space mission was begun by the Soviet Union with its launch of the unmanned Luna I. It passed within 4,600 miles of the moon before moving on to a solar orbit.
1971: A team of Israeli scholars announced the discovery in Jerusalem of a 2,000 year-old skeleton of a crucified male. Found in a cave-tomb, it was the first direct physical evidence of the Roman method of execution.
1988: The Canada-U.S. Free Trade agreement was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
1995: The most distant galaxy discovered to that time was found by scientists using the Keck telescope in Hawaii. It was estimated to be 15 billion light years away i.e. the light image seen in the telescope was 15 billion years old (see Your Very Own Time Machine; also Parabolic Prophecies).
2007: Teddy Kollek died at age 95. He was the mayor of Jerusalem 1965-1993.