Monday, February 6, 2012

Thoughts from the Bible - Psalm 90

I have had several different kinds of topics in my blog posts, but I thought it would be good to take a look at some scripture.

Today's scripture is Psalm 90.  This has been a source of comfort and encouragement for me many times during the years.

Here is Psalm 90 from the New Living Translation:
1 Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!
2 Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!”
4 For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.
5 You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning.
6 In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We wither beneath your anger; we are overwhelmed by your fury.
8 You spread out our sins before you— our secret sins—and you see them all.
9 We live our lives beneath your wrath, ending our years with a groan.
10 Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away.
11 Who can comprehend the power of your anger? Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.
12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
13 O LORD, come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. 15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good.
16 Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory.
17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!

Verses 1 to 4 talk about the eternal nature of God.  He has been our home for all generations.  That includes everyone.  For all time.  That is not to say that everyone has allowed Him to be their home.  He is God from the beginning of time to the end of time.  That is another way of saying God always has been and always will be.  He is God.  Period.  Remember what Hebrews 13:8 says - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."  God is eternally the same.  He never changes!  He is always faithful.  God is not bound by time and space.  When we are waiting for something to happen, it can seem like a long time.  For God, even a thousand years is like a day.  The everlasting God wants a relationship with you and me.  That is amazing!

Verses 5 and 6 are about the brevity of human life.  God is the Creator of life.  Life is only God's to take away.  He sweeps people away like dreams that disappear.  Our lives are like grass or flowers - here today and gone tomorrow.  How many people who lived 200 years ago do we remember?  Not many.  How many people who live in 200 years will remember me?  Not many.  Sobering, isn't it?  And yet we have a great opportunity to make an impact on the people around us.  While people may not remember us, God keeps the books.

Verses 7 to 11 continue to emphasize that life is short, with the added focus on our sins and God's judgement.  Some of us get 70 or 80 years of life. Some get more and others get less. I do not understand why some good people die so young.  I have unanswered questions.  Why did my Mom die before she reached 65?  But I have to trust that God is in control.  He was not caught off guard my Mom's lymphoma.  The troubles that we have on earth are only for a season. When life is over, we have no more problems. If we choose to live for God, we will receive rewards after we die. If not, we will suffer the wrath of God for eternity.

Verse 12 tells us why we need to recognize the brevity of life.  When we do, we will see that we need to grow in wisdom.  Knowledge is the information, understanding, and skills you gain through education and experience.  Wisdom is the ability to properly use the knowledge you have.  Proverbs 9:10 (NLT) says "Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment."  Proverbs 2:6 (NLT) says "For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding."  He gives wisdom freely.  I have prayed for wisdom from God many times, at home, on the job, or at school, based on James 1:5 (NLT) - "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."  And He has come through for me!

Verses 13-17 finish up this psalm with a prayer for God's help.  Please, Lord, do not forget us here.  Have mercy and compassion on us.  Help us!  Satisfy us each morning.  That reminds me of Lamentations 3:23 (NLT) - "Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."  Thank God for that freshness and newness that he gives each and every day.  The result is singing and gladness.  If we as Christians demonstrated that, do you think the world would notice a difference?  Lord, we want to see you work again.  Not just for our sake, but because we want our children to see and to know your glory.  God, bless what we are doing for you so that our efforts may be successful  We cannot measure success the same way the world does, because God is responsible for results.  However, when we do what God wants, when God wants, and how God wants - I believe that God will bless our efforts and we will be successful.  God, help us!!

Verse 17 from the King James Version
How about you?  Do you realize that life is short?  Do you look to God as the source of your wisdom?  Are you doing what God wants so that He can bless your efforts?

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