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October 1, 2022 8:00 am
Welcome to through the Psalms a weekend ministry of the truthful teaching God's people.
God's word over time will study all 150 Psalms with pastor John Greene from truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio were so glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms right now as we join our teacher in the truthful open, we come to Psalm 90 here this evening. The opening of book for the Psalms. Psalm 90 is the first of a series of related Psalms Psalm 90 highlighting the transients of life. Psalm 91 being a call to trust in the Lord.
In light of that, and Psalm 92 answering that God will be faithful, even to the end.
As we trust in him. Psalm 90 I'm gonna read it here in a moment, and I just want to say a word by by way of introduction.
Psalm 90 is an intensely personal Psalm.
To me it is had a profound impact on my life and I'm not going to try to hide that from what I had to say here this evening is as we unfold things. Let's read it to begin. Psalm 90 the heading says it's a prayer of Moses, the man of God. Verse one. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations before the mountains were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting you are God you turn man back into dust and say return no children of men for a thousand years in your site are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night you have swept them away like a flood. They fall asleep in the morning. They are like grass which sprouts a new in the morning. It flourishes in sprouts a new toward evening. It fades and withers away. We've been consumed by your anger by your wrath. We have been dismayed you have placed our iniquities before you our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days have declined in your fury. We have finished our years like a sigh. As for the days of our life. They contain 70 years or if due to strength 80 years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow for soon it is gone and we fly away who understands the power of your anger and your fury. According to the fear that is due you so teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.
Do return, oh Lord, how long will it be and be sorry for your servants all satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days make us glad. According to the days you have afflicted us in the years we have seen evil. Let your work appear to your servants and your majesty to their children.
But the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and confirm for us the work of our hands. Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Now in this most magnificent Psalm. Here's what's happening. There is a broad sweep of meditation that Moses is doing, he opens up meditating on the eternal analogy of God and then he immediately contrasts that with the mortality of man and he places the eternal nature of God against the transient nature of man and at the end of the Psalm that leads him to prayer.
And so, in the process what he is done as he is given for all time. Wisdom for this mortal life and for Psalm 3500 years almost people have been reading Psalm 90 since it came from the pen of Moses now always like to define terms right from the start. It is very important that we know what we mean is we use certain terms and tonight were focusing on mortality didn't plan it this way, but Sunday was a was a message on why immortality matters and you could almost have titled this message why mortality matters are what you do in response to mortality immortality matters because were gonna live forever, and we need to factor that into the way that we think about life in our philosophy of life and the other side of that coin is that mortality matters because our lives are brief and we need to do something with them.
There is a reality that must be factored into life both immortality and mortality have this effect when they are properly considered. They help us keep life into perspective.
And not only that, when you properly calculate mortality into your approach to life. It has a way of defining the priorities by which you live. And if you've never calculated mortality into your approach to life. Now is the time even if you're in your 60s and 70s and 80s. It's time to start calculating that into the way that you think an approach life and if you're younger than you have all of the benefit of time to be able to make the most of this message and so for those of you that are listening better in your teens in your early 20s man is this the time to take heed to Psalm 90, and to let it wrap its thought and its philosophy around your mind and let it shape you going forward. As I've said in the past I've taught the song twice it truth Community Church once in 2013.
Once in 2016, actually don't mind teaching it every three years but that's not the plan here. It's just the next Psalm in the series were doing here, but I probably mentioned this.
There was a sweet woman whose name I don't remember who, when Nancy and I got married, gave us a very simple little wedding gift.
She was not a woman of means and she just wanted to give us something and she gave us is very simple plaque that she no doubt found in a Christian bookstore that had Psalm 90 verse 12 etched upon it.
Psalm 90 verse 12 says to teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom. And she had no idea at the time how much that verse was going to impact my life going forward. And there are just certain verses that make an imprint on your mind and just and the Lord just uses them in Psalm 90 verse 12 was one of those verses in my life is all talk about in a little while for now though, what we want to do is want to ask posits Psalm 90 before I get to overly personal about all of this. But God's word matters doesn't Moses as he wrote this song probably wrote this during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness during that wilderness time, the people of Israel were marching through they been judged by God and it said that that entire generation would die in the wilderness and so they're going through a 40 year purging as a nation to cleanse out all of the rebellious souls that had objected to God's work in bringing them out of Egypt and so day by day year-by-year people were starting to die off if you do the math. I won't take you through all of this. If you do the math. There is anywhere between an average of 50 to 75 people dying day by day in the wilderness and in Israel and its that provides a bit of the backdrop for what Moses was seeing what he was thinking and what would have prompted him to write such a magnificent Psalm as this little break it down into three points tonight as I usually do.
It seems like I can't count past three and that's all right.
The eternal analogy of God. Point number one the terminology of God. Point number two, the mortality of man and then point number three. The humility of prayer.
The term analogy of God, the mortality of man and the humility of prayer those things that really kinda wraps it all up.
And if you can get your mind around those three points. You can have a focus that will with that will help you eat long after the words that I say tonight or forgotten from your mind. So let's start with point number one.
The E term analogy of God as Moses meditates and then writes for the benefit of all the people of God would follow after him now. 3500 years later, Moses here is drawing upon for his meditation. He starts with the E term analogy, the eternal nature of God look at their in verses one and two, he says, Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations before the mountains were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Moses starts this meditation dwelling on the nature and the essence of God, and that is where all proper right thinking of man begins. We start with the nature of the purpose of God. And then we work things out from there and as Moses begins here he is connecting Israel with the people of faith who went before them and look at what he says there in verse one. He speaking about Israel. They were yet quite yet a nation so much because they weren't yet in the land, but they had developed into this into this mass of people under the leadership of God, and he says in verse one. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. What he's doing here is he's connecting the present group of the people of Israel with the people of faith who had preceded them. Now God had called Abraham 2000 years before the time of Christ at back in Genesis Genesis chapter 12 he calls Abraham to follow him.
That was 2000 years before the time of Christ speaking in round numbers, Moses lived in this this time of the Exodus was I'm oversimplifying on just using round numbers here about 600 years later, Moses is writing Psalm 90 so there's been an intervening period of 600 years during which the descendents of Abraham were multiplying and growing. Moses is calling all of that to mind and he says Lord as our people have grown and expanded. You have been our dwelling place. What he means by that is God, you have protected us and sustained us from our from our tiny numbers when we left Israel to come into Egypt during our 400 years of slavery in the Inn in Egypt where we multiplied and we were under harsh taskmasters and very little was there at times to encourage us, Lord, the underlying reality of our existence as a people, was that you were protecting us you were sustaining us you were achieving your purpose even when it didn't seem like anything was really happening and as I like to say to just give a sense of perspective 600 years in our terms and are in our thinking of history as Americans anyway would take us back to prior to the discovery of America by Columbus. That seems like ancient dark history to us. It's so long ago and yet that is the timeframe that that Moses is writing from. He's looking back in chronological terms to something that would have pre-seeded the discovery of America by Columbus connecting connecting that time all the way through to where he's presently writing and saying God, you have been over us. You have you have been our security. You have been the driving force of our continued existence. Even though we have been living in slavery. Much of that time. Here's the thing, God had been accomplishing his purposes, even though at times there was very little external evidence of it and he looks back over the sweep of centuries and says God. You've been working in the midst of all of this, even though it may not have seemed like it at the time for us as Christians, we could look back 600 years ago back just a few decades prior to the time of the Reformation and look back at the subsequent 500 years of the subsequent 500 years of Reformation history and realize how God has had his hand upon his people, his hand upon his word his hand upon the proclamation of the gospel and his kingdom has advanced his church has grown.
Christ is build his church just as he promised, even through the ups and downs of the ages of intervenes and sent and what you and I need to do in response to that kind of thinking. Looking back at the window of 600 years of Israel's history that was prompting Moses to write now in the church age. Looking back at the 500 years since Reformation looking back 2000 years since the time of Christ. We need to think we need to contemplate the way that God shelters and develops and grows his people according to his purposes.
No matter what the earthly opposition might be if we would do that and contemplate Providence rightly, in light of God's word. We would be far less intimidated by the rise and fall of earthly leaders who are opposed to Christianity, we wouldn't be so wrapped up in the things of politics and things of economics, the things of this life, because we would realize that behind it all and it seeing these unseen things with the eyes of faith is at the hand of God is is marching forward and is bringing to pass everything that he ordained to happen before the beginning of time, God is achieving his purpose without fail.
And in that the people of God have great security in that realm of faith and that mental realm of knowing God and knowing the fulfillment of his purposes. That is where we find our stability.
He is our rock, our refuge and his eternal nature guarantees that he will never miss out on what he's doing with his people in it matters what you think about the sovereignty of God, and it is no small error for people to chip away at the sovereignty of God, either in salvation or just in not recognizing it, not teaching it because we want to exalt the so-called free will of man, beloved, I want to tell you those things have long far-reaching ramifications and Moses would've had nothing of it. Look at it there in verse one, when he says, Lord, you've been our dwelling place in all generations, you've been stable. You've been unchanging. You've been immutable and we as a people dwell in the shadow of your protectionism say in Psalm 91 verse one goes on in verse two. Here in Psalm 90 says before the mountains were born you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting you are God says God you had no beginning, God, you will have no end. You established your eternal purpose before time began.
He's looking at this and he saying a statement of reference of fear at a spirit of worship.
He saying God you are working out your purpose in time and after time ends, you will have accomplished your purpose to perfection, and nothing will have hindered there will be no diminishment of what you intended to accomplish. You will do it all because of your great sovereign eternal power and purpose and is point here as he continues on what worries about to go with this. Is this setting forth the fact that we as the people of God. You could say and expanded to all of humanity for that matter humanity is living history is unfolding in the context of the eternal purpose of God. There is nothing that is happening outside of God's eternal purpose.
Even the sin of man is calculated in the eternal purpose of God and he uses it to accomplish his purposes.
The hand of God. Beloved is in absolutely everything that happens is eternal purpose will be achieved, it will prove to be good in the end. In another book of Moses in Genesis chapter 50 verse 20 he records how man meant it for evil but God meant it for good. In acts chapter 2, godless men nailed Christ to the cross and they were merely carrying out the eternal purpose of God when they did, you really need to factor this into the way that you think about life, the things that we are talking about here tonight shape your entire mind. They informed the entire way that you think about life, what you think about the sovereignty of God and his ability to work out his purposes, changes everything and a man who does not understand these things are who denies these things will live much differently than the man who affirms and believes them having been saved by the by the power in the blood of Christ this matter. Some telling you, and if it didn't matter would be in Scripture and so Moses briefly starts out with this statement of the surpassing each personality and sovereignty of God.
And that's the start of his meditation. Now he goes on. Having said that God is eternal.
He now changes focus.
He had having looked up vertically, so to speak it God and praising and honoring the eternal now the of God, he now turns his focus to that the nature of man. He does this without a without a real transition, but the contrast is certainly clear enough we come to point number two here this evening, the mortality of man, the mortality of man.
Now Moses is still talking to God. Here he is still praying in a sense here as we go to verse three as we see, because he's still speaking in the second person you look at it there in verse three with me. He says you turn man back into dust. Well, it's us who's the you it's the same Lord that he had addressed at the beginning of the song you turn man back into dust and say return no children of men for thousand years in your cider like yesterday when it passes by razzle watching the night you swept them away like a flood.
They fall asleep in the morning.
They are like grass which sprouts a new in the morning. It flourishes and sprouts anew toward evening it fades and and withers away. What's he doing here in poetic language. He is now talking about the brevity and the mortality of man.
He's had such an exalted view of God as he opened it up, but now he turns to a contemplation of man and says God, man is not like you at all you who are the same from generation to generation, transcendent over ages living beyond and an existing beyond the realm of time. God, by contrast, we live in this transient temporary realm where we flourish for just a short period of time and then the wind blows on us and we are gone. He is making a a grand statement. A grand contrast between the eternal now the of God in the mortality of man what he is saying here is, is it that God, unlike you, we are subject to death. We die in our time span is insignificant.
Look at verse four as he contemplates time from God's perspective. He says in verse four for a thousand years in your cider like yesterday when it passes by a millennium a day.
There is no difference in the sense of God, the time span is insignificant from God's perspective because he dwells outside of time. Not that God is unaware of time is not that he doesn't act in time, but that his perspective on time is completely different from ours. 24 hours to us in a thousand years is vastly different to God. He's so far beyond time that it's the distinction is insignificant. A thousand years to God is the same as a four hour watch in the night to him because he dwells outside the realm of time. Time has is no restraint on his character being time is no restraint on the fulfillment of his purposes, or what he intends to do.
That's from God's perspective. But for us it's important for us to realize the time has a much different significance to us.
And unlike the tonality of God. We are transient in passing.
Look at verses five and six as he contemplates men who died and go back to the dust. He says in verse five you swept them away like a flood. They fall asleep in the morning the like grass which sprouts anew in the morning.
It flourishes and sprouts anew toward evening it fades and withers away.
We know this special in springtime. I love springtime is my favorite time of year by four. I love the flowers bloom up in the trees that bloom in it and I just love that.
But every year, every year it's the same. The beauty of it is is passing the flowers fade and the petal start to peel back and you know and they wither up and they blow away the beauty is transitory as real as the beauty is it's it's transitory. With each passing year. I realize I have fewer springs to enjoy as life moves on.
This way, what Moses is doing here is comparing the life of man to the passing grass of the field man flourishes for a time.
Yeah, that's longer than the two week span of a flower, but it's really in the context of God's eternal now. The it's it's a good it's exactly the same principle flourishes for a while. The breath comes on it and it withers and goes away and that is the only proper way to think about the nature of the life of man your life. Beloved, even for you young people.
Your life is like a waterfall that is cascading over the cliffs of time. The river comes rushing down and and and there is a current in a flow to it and it passes bypasses along the banks of the edge. There and then it comes over to the waterfall and down it goes.
That's what our life is like swept away like a flood.
This is the picture that Moses is giving to us the temporary nature of life were man flourishes for a time seems to be a pillar of strength or a picture of beauty and it time goes on, and it all starts to crumble away until it is gone now most of you know that I like to go to cemeteries. I like to walk around in cemeteries, especially where my prior generations are buried. One of my favorite places on earth to go and some people find that morbid and you now get a little bit edgy when I start talking this way, but bear with me here for a moment. I won't dwell on it long but you need to you need to think about life from this way, this is this is what Moses is saying just illustrated a little bit differently. A cemetery gives silent testimony to the reality of what Moses is talking about here. The brief nature of life. You go and you look at carved out and granite are carved out and marveled the name of a man you know maybe you don't know and you see that that man lived from 1795 to 1882 lived 87 years and during the course of his life.
He was strong. He was prominent from all appearances it looked like he would just go on indefinitely living in continuing on in the strength of his of his days, and in the pursuits of his life, but now his name is etched in stone. After those 87 years or are gone, and he who wants seem to be strong is now forgotten in the grave. No one remembers what he looks like you even remember his name. If the if the stone has worn away and that strength in real terms here that strength that he exhibited in the most profound way was just an illusion. It wasn't real.
It wasn't lasting it wasn't eternal like God is. It was a flourishing for a time that had an endpoint and then it moves on in life is over for him and what Psalm 90 is calling you to do each one of you in here today what Psalm 90 is calling each one of us to contemplate is the fact that that reality of the brevity of life is what marks you as well. This is the reality of your life even in your even in that the vigor and strength of your youth right now, beloved, it is temporary it is passing, and soon enough it will be your name that is etched on stone in a cemetery soon enough it will be your remains are dealt with in other ways to think and however long you live, whether it's 30 years or 90 years. The outcome is quick and the outcome is the same one day it's going to be your name that is being etched upon the stone. Now I know look look. It is just so critical for you and I not to shy away from this kind of thinking because this is biblical thinking and the fact that it makes us uncomfortable is no reason not to embrace it and to understand it because this is what God's word is saying to us, God says these things in his word, for our benefit and for our help and for our instruction. Moses is a being morbid.
Here he is being realistic and I don't think it's too much to say that until a man is calculated death into his perspective on life. He hasn't even begun to live now.
Moses answers an important question answers a theological question, beginning in verse seven.
Why is it like that. Why is it that our lives are brief is God is eternal and were made in the image of God.
Why are our lives. Brief, why is it that we flourish for a time and then we fade away, will he answers that question in verse seven. I love this song. It's just so profound. He says in verse 744. He's explaining what he just said he's giving a reason for why do we flourish and then wither away. Verse 74 we been consumed by your anger, and by your wrath. We've been dismayed you've placed our iniquities before you are secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days have declined in your fury. We finished our years like a sigh. As for the days of our life. They contain 70 years earth due to strength 80 years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow for soon it is gone we fly away we leave this earthly existence behind verse 11 who understands the power of your anger and your fury. According to the fear that is due you.
What is he talking about here will remember that he's writing in the context of a generation of Israelites falling in the wilderness. Every grave a fresh reminder about their disobedience to God what is saying here is that we are experiencing this.
This realm of death. Because we are experiencing your wrath and anger against our sin.
We are being punished for our sin, your fury and wrath is against our rebellion and disobedience against you and every grave was a fresh reminder if they thought about it rightly, about their disobedience when they wanted to return to Egypt instead of following the pillar of cloud and fire into the promised land. Inexcusable and expanded out and you realize that what was true in a microcosm of Israel's true for all of men look at Romans chapter 5 verse 12 with me. Just as a brief reminder for you about where death comes from where does death come from wasn't present in creation before the fall of man, but when Adam disobeyed. He brought death upon the entire human race.
Romans chapter 5 verse 12 therefore, just as through one man speaking of Adam's sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, why is there death is because man sinned against God, and the penalty for sin was death death in terms of alien immediate alienation from God.
Death in terms of physical death when the soul is separated from the body and ultimately eternal death for those who are not redeemed from their sin and death is a multifaceted reality of existence. Since Adam's sin and we all shared in it with them not only shared in it. As with him as the representative head of the human race but shared in it by our own nature and by our own choice, and by our own desires you talking about here and so the reason that there is death. The reason that life is mortal. The reason that life is brief and transient is because of the sin of man that invokes the wrath of God against humanity.
Death was the judgment for sin. The wages of sin is death and that's what Moses is, is referring to in a humble expression of worship and meditation to God, he says, and those in verses three to 6R life is brief, mortal and transient and he goes on to say God. The reason that it's like that is because your wrath is against us. We sinned against you, your fury is invoked against our rebellion and disobedience and God. This is really really sad little verse 10 again with me. As for the days of our life.
They contain 70 years due to strength 80 years would go really well.
We go 80 years says, but the pride of our life is just labor and sorrow, then it's gone and we fly away and opined go back to the cemeteries with you for just a moment, it slightly amuses and saddens me.
At the same time. When I go to an unfamiliar cemetery is always somebody who at one time was a big community leader and a prominent guy who did his family built him the biggest monument in the place right now you got the smaller stones, like most of us will have four buried in the cemetery like that you know the modest stones may be as wide as the pulpit and you know a fraction of the height and you know here lies so-and-so or whatever, but somebody's gotta have the 30 foot tall monument or the big mausoleum that looks like a small house in it and you can't do that afterwards and in the whole point is to speak to how prominent and great this man was this woman was hit it it it it it you know with the passage of just a few years. It just becomes a mockery of the very thing that was supposed to be commemorating if you don't know who the guy is that monument just looks like a big waste of money and it was this man was important really, who was see I don't even recognize his name in the pride of all of that was just meaningless.
He was trying his family was trying to keep his name perpetuated for generations one or two generations later, people are scratching their head and saying why they put so much stone into that this beloved. Why does this matter.
Why are we talking about this.
Why am I illustrating this way. This shows us, it illustrates force the truth of what Moses is talking about the pride of life is just labor and sorrow.
There is nothing lasting or prominent about this life. Not even the significance it is communicated by your headstone at a cemetery in Soho. We need to think completely differently about what life signifies and what the point of it is because Moses is saying here. Life brings sorrow we get started, and then death takes us away. This is undeniable. God's word can never be successfully refuted. But this in particular is just undeniable for anyone it would take time to think about it and look at it with open eyes will not die. All the generations before us have died and were going to join him in that realm of the dead.
Speaking humanly beloved Moses is writing this for purpose not to depresses, but to instruct us the sun seemed dynamic about the nature of life and nature of death. It governs all of life, but we have a problem at precisely this point, you and I have a problem at precisely this point we do not have the ability in our natural mind and in our natural power to grasp that because you tend to live by what you see you live in the realm where life is pretty much the same day after day after day without even realizing it. You start to assume and presuppose the because yesterday was like this and today was like this that tomorrow will be like this as well and you don't even start to contemplate that it's not always going to continue. And yes, tomorrow won't always be like today and yesterday was and you can't grasp that in your natural ability and here's what it does to you. He creates in you a false sense of security that life will go on as it always has and that is not true. And Moses says, and points out to us.
Toward evening it fades and withers away would then consume 70 or 80 years and were gone and we fly away.
The vast majority of people don't have the wisdom to stop and think about that and calculated into the way that they approach life.
They just keep doing what they're doing without contemplating what the reality of life.
It really is yeah yeah I get animated about this. It's all right see your challenges is that you can't grasp that in your natural ability with your natural faculties you live by site and not by faith, not informed by the word of God. So what does Moses do Moses has a conclusion to draw from that that is profoundly significant. Moses has identified the problem. He says in verse 11. Who understands the power of your anger and your fury. According to fear that is due you, God, you are angry against our sin. God were mortal and transient and were going to die in life is short and who understands that who understands that. Who gets that grass that rightly implied answers. No one does. Naturally, I look at verse 12. In light of that, he says so.
So, in light of all of these things that I've been saying, Lord, in light of your in vitro analogy in the mortality of man and our inability at to grasp the significance of what all of this means for individual lives. So therefore, in light of all of that.I have another prayer request for you. God verse 12. I pray that you would teach us to number our days, so that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.
God we need you to show grace and favor to us to enlighten our minds so that we would consider time in the brief window of life that we have properly.I need your help to think rightly about the nature of life.
Otherwise, I'm gonna squander it waste it. Help me to use and consider time in light of the mortality and brevity of life God. Moses understands that we would not do that if we were left to our own devices because we are too fascinated by what we see around us we are too much in love with ourselves and we ate we just have this natural thought that I'm just going to keep on living and keep on living and keep on living.
That's the natural way that men think before life starts to get away from them and so Moses is praying God, teach us to number our days, we may present to you a heart of wisdom. God help us to think rightly about the brevity of life so that we would live in a wise way.
In response to it and not squander the days of the been given to us by your gracious hand, teach us to number our days, now let's make this really practical to repeat an illustration that I've used in the past. That's all right, you know, looking out looking out on you, and knowing so many of you in your life circumstances. Some of you on the cusp on the edge of important life decisions citing what you're going to do.
Making important decisions about what life lies ahead periodically life brings us those things decisions that will alter the course of your life forever job.
What kind of job or career you gonna pursue what kind of education where you going to go to school out where you going to relocate who you going to marry all those kinds of things and you're on the front end of those decisions send what I do.
How how how can I think about these things. Rightly and how can I make a good and wise decision. I've said this to people so many times in so many different places when you're on the brink of decisions like that, here's my encouragement to you, follows the thinking of Psalm 90 and think ahead to the end of your life.
Picture yourself on sitting on a rocking chair on a porch someplace.
Life is basically over. You know that you don't have too much time left. Your strength is gone and and your days are are few.
You're an old man or you're an old woman and you're looking back on your life at that time.
It's an imaginary exercise, writing, it's helpful and here's the thing. Here's the thing, man I plead with you, and if you're already at that point in life. That's okay just teach it to somebody else is coming up behind you.
You're sitting on that rocking chair and here's the reality of life is occurring to you that you don't get to do it over again, you'll get another chance you had one chance in whatever you did with it. That's what you've got now is your sitting in the rocking chair. Remember were juxtaposing were doing a little bit of time travel here.
In reality, you're on the front end of life. The front end of decisions, but your thinking about it at the end.
Looking back on it.
Here's the whole point when you're sitting in that rocking chair beloved what's going to be important to you at that time. What mattered then when you look back on life.
What you going to want to have to show for your life or for your decisions then what's going to be important then when you are at death's door and you are about to give God an account for your life. What do you want to show for yourself, I can tell you this.
You don't want to be sitting in that rocking chair having squandered your life on the foolish pursuits of youth. You don't want to have have squandered it in sin, having neglected, Scripture having neglected biblical priorities are having shredded your family with excessive devotion to business ministry or a double life that you think you're hiding from others. I can promise you that when you're in the rocking chair. You're not going to be glad you did that. I'm saying these things sympathetically to help you. I know I'm saying I'm strongly with some saying it strongly just because it's so important beloved shift tone here beloved. Whether you've got two years of you've got 70 years to look forward to in the natural course of things.
I plead with you, I beg you to live your life in a way that when you're sitting in that rocking chair. You're not sitting there thinking and I say it reverently. Oh my God, I've wasted all I can do it over and it's too nice. I played games through all of my life.
I never took God's word seriously.
I never even responded to the gospel of Christ.
All I can put on a show for me and I never gave him my heart.
I never loved him with all of my heart, soul, strength in mind. I just played the part of a hypocrite, and now I squandered it all by every appearance.
Some of you give me the impression that that's exactly the trajectory that you're on I worry over you. I worry over what you seem to consider you and what you seem to think is important in life worries me know if you see beloved that day of reckoning is coming and you are in a position now responding to God's word here tonight you're in a position to change the trajectory of that and ultimately it's really not the rocking chair that matters is, it is a fact that the rocking chair is just a preliminary act before you actually give an account to God for your life and you have to give an account to him for your life, because even as Christians were going to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Given account for the things we've done in the body. What are you going to do with that. What are you going to say then what are you going to say and tell you what you ought to pray right now. Hope God teach me to number my days so that I would live rollup wisely. Let's also just humble ourselves even further and just realize that as we talk about these things. It illustrates for us how much we need to enter a Redeemer to conquer death for us how much we need Christ to overcome our sin and to overcome our foolishness so that we might be delivered safe through that passageway, so to speak, Lord, teach me to number my days so that I would live wisely not look I'm about to do something that I don't want to do ahead and plan to do this until about an hour ago probably regret it when I go to bed tonight, but we know each other you know me I'm here's a pastor and if I can be personal for just a moment and in passing deal with the question that I get asked all the time people ask me and I am just illustrating how you think about this how this applies and what it looks like not to talk about me, but to help you. People ask me often. Why is it that you speaking to me. Why did you leave a law practice. Why did you abandon being an attorney to to go into ministry. What was that like for you to get asked that question a lot and there's there's a long answer but there's a short answer in this context right here and at the end of the day. It was very very simple.
I was about 30. I don't know where the thought came to think about a rocking chair thing like this, where the thought came from but I was 30. In the midst of the law practice and I really enjoyed into this day I still miss, but I looked ahead to the rocking chair and I asked myself what do I want to look back on that I'd given my life to when I get to the rocking chair. What I want to look back on having given my life to and I knew that I didn't want to have. To show for my life a career in law when there was an alternate path of getting myself to God's word and that's what I wanted to sit in the rocking chair and look back on and remember was that I given my life to God's word and I'll trust God honor that when I stand before me judgment. It was that simple.
This thought of the rocking chair. Change the entire trajectory of my life now. Let me clarify something fairly quickly here. It is not at all. I don't say that because every man needs to go into ministry. That's not what I think it all.
I don't I don't even I don't even recommend it as a career choice. Frankly explained that some other time. I'm glad to be doing what I'm doing.
The point is is that every man, every woman does not need to go into ministry, but every man or every woman does need to do this every one of you. You do need to number your days and calculate in what you're doing with your time and with your priorities and with your resourcing and what you're doing because at some point. At some point, the end is going to come and whether you have time to reflect back on it or not what you want to live life from is from a perspective that when I reached the end I can look back and say no matter how it went.
I at least made choices that were informed by the fact that I was living a brief life under the eye of God. That's what you need to do. That's how Christians live life in you young guys. You got a great opportunity to set the course.
Now you older guys, some of you may be having squandered an awfully lot. Well let me just remind you we do serve a God of grace and that if you squandered it and you look back and you say III live selfishly.
This is why Christ came. Christ came to bring grace to sinners just like you and that you can go to Christ. Even now, and confess a lifetime of sin and find him, willing to receive you and to forgive you and restore the years of the locus of Eaton the years that you've wasted and if it even if it chronologically. It's a small window of time after a lifetime of sin that there is still grace and productivity, and an opportunity to live to the glory of God, even if it's short by comparison, the nature of grace to say, have added, all you who labor and are heavy laden, I'll give you rest.
He's able to restore the years that the locus of Eaton and for that we praise him and thank him. But the younger you are the more that you are on the front and the more this is your opportunity and now that you forwarded it is your responsibility to respond to the word of God. What you give your life to this matters well in response to all that but slip finally and quickly at number three, the humility of prayer, the humility of prayer. Understanding this ends on a joyful Notes on 90 does understanding contemplating meditating on the brevity of life, the mortality of life. It it it it humbles us it's sobers us and it leaves us recognizing that there are dynamics about life that are just beyond our ability to grasp and to respond to, and we need help. We need help. The whole of this theater.
Now the of God in the mortality of man drives us to a position of humility before God. Moses is writing this. Toward the end of his life by the way, for what I was just saying that's a good point to remember.
Moses lived to be 120 God took him at the at the end of that 40 year wandering, he probably only had a very short number of years of his own life to live. When he was writing this.
What did Moses, the man of God have to say then he turns to prayer in verse 13. Look at it with me. It would be depressing God we would be depressed by all of this weakness of God, I ask you for grace. I ask you for help with verse 13 do return O Lord, how long will it be and be sorry for your servants. He's praying for mercy God have, have mercy on us be sorry for us, give us joy that we don't even deserve.
Verse 14 oh satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days make us glad. According to the days you have afflicted us in the years we have seen evil, what is he saying here saying God show us mercy God the reality of this would crush us.
If you left us here and so I'm asking you to show mercy to us to be sorry for us and to help us even in our inner man to give us joy to replace the despair that we would otherwise feel in light of these things. There is joy in Christ. Even in light of the brevity and mortality of man. Moses says Lord, give that to us in our inner man, help us, help us to be enraptured by by you by your character by your grace. If we can see your grace and be satisfied with your grace and we can sing for joy. We can be glad all of our days. God help us in our inner man to transcend what would otherwise take place. Then he gives a second prayer in verses 16 and 17. He prays for God to grant a lasting impact to his life. Verse 16 with me.
Let your work appear to your servants and your majesty to their children.
God, make yourself known to us, God, you are the answer to this brevity of life. You are the answer that satisfies our soul and so make yourself known break into this earthly this earthly realm of despair and make yourself known and show your majesty to us in verse 17. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and confirm for us the work of our hands. Yes, confirm the work of our hands. Moses wanted his life to have a lasting value and so he says God hears what were doing. Here's what I'm doing. Confirm it. In other words, establish it blessed so that somehow it has an enduring impact on posterity that what I do will outlive my natural life and somehow turn to be a blessing to those who come after me. What all this means beloved. For those of you that are older, especially you may have regrets about the past. Some of you will earn even all that old, and you have regrets about the past, don't you been here in this prayer of Moses, my friends, what you find is this is by grace you can finish well you can finish well. One writer said this said, so long as we are here God requires us to do something. Let us therefore find out what that is and do it. And while we do it.
Let us pray that God may establish it so that it may remain to blessed posterity, here's what you should be thinking no matter whether you're young or old. Here's what you here's the way that you should think in light of Psalm 90 Lord I'm still here I'm still here. I detected by that.
Here's a way that you should think beloved. I detected by the fact that I am still here that I still have work to do that.
There is still purpose in my remaining days appointed by you. God I pray God, I ask you, God, I beg you to guide my steps into give me enlightened understanding so I could see what that is and that I could devote my time and energy to that which you would be pleased to with all of that said to just wrap this up.
Time goes so quickly destroyed.
On the whole Psalms about the but I was only think about the 60 minutes here beloved family here together. Let me just say this if you are a Christian, God does not intend for you to cling to this life. This life is mortal is passing. It is brief.
Yes, you are to use that time to his glory, to love him and to serve him while you can, but to recognize that this life is not why God created you the purposes for which God created you transcend this life. There are eternal purposes. The God has appointed you to whether God takes you when you're 30 or whether God takes you when you're 90.
He has appointed for you a destiny.
He is appointed for you a purpose the lives on long after you're gone. Your priority is God's eternal purpose, not your earthly stuff. Ultimately Christ redeemed you to be with him in heaven forever. The apostle Paul in Philippians 1 said for me to live is Christ and to die is gain to depart and be with Christ is very much better. Beloved that is the blessed position that all of us have as Christians not to fear death not to resent it not to run from it when it comes to us, but rather to embrace it.
Understanding that death is your escort into glory, and all fear is gone then you're free to leave when the time comes you look back and bid farewell to life. He said God be gracious, be merciful to me, the center, that's what I intend to pray with my dying lips, five breath and thought to think it to just look back over all of the life of failure and sin and despair in and and all everything that I messed up and to go before him, not with boasting in my accomplishments but God be merciful to me, the center and knowing that our gracious Lord is disposed answer that because he is favorable to us as he showed when he died for us on the cross and in these things we find the philosophy and priorities by which we can live may be true for each one of you (Lord, what else can we pray we could not improve on the words of Moses inspired by your spirit that have stood the test of 3 1/2 millennia were just as true and powerful today as they were back for each one father under the sound of my voice. I pray you teach us to number our days, we may present a part in Jesus name. Well my friend. Thank you for joining us on through the Psalms you know if you're enjoying this podcast I think you would love to join our church on our lifestream on Sunday mornings at 9 AM Eastern or 7 PM Tuesday evening. Also, Eastern time. You can find that lifestream firstname.lastname@example.org again our lifestream link is email@example.com. We hope to see you there. God bless you.
Thanks, Don and Fran through the Psalms is a weekend ministry of the truth sure to join us next week for our study. As Don continues teaching God's people.
God's word and we also invite you to join us on Sunday at 9 AM Eastern for our lifestream from truth community church in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find the firstname.lastname@example.org this message is copyrighted by Don Green.
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