"They looked unto Him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed" (Psalm 34:5).
This is a fascinating verse, speaking of the wonderful afterglow on a believer's countenance when the Lord has answered an urgent and specific prayer. The previous verse contains such a testimony: "I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." So does the following verse: "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles" (vv. 4, 6). The answered prayer had been so remarkable that it had even required angelic intervention (v. 7), prompting David to exclaim, "O taste and see that the LORD is good" (v. 8).
As a result, their very faces, instead of exhibiting shame in defeat, had become "lightened" in triumphant joy. This unique adjective, normally used to describe a fast-flowing stream of water, has a root meaning of something like "sparkle." As applied to flowing water, the picture is of a fast mountain stream tripping over the rocks in a cascade of jets and bubbles--a "sparkling" stream. When applied to individual believers, it tells us that their faces became "sparkling," or "radiant." The King James rendering of "lightened" is as good as any, speaking of such a wonderful deliverance that their countenances seemed actually to "light up" with joy.
Every Christian can also have such a lightened countenance, for the same God who answered their prayers will answer our prayers today when we pray according to His will and ask in faith. "Ask, and ye shall receive," says the Lord, "that your joy may be full" (John 16:24). As the Lord's blessing becomes more real with each prayer answered, our countenances may become flowing countenances, and glowing countenances, like a sparkling mountain stream. HMM