Our service this morning was led by Paul David of Cosheston Mission Church who preached from Psalm 90. As this is a prayer of Moses, it is probably the oldest psalm. You can find a summary of the life of Moses in Acts chapter 7. He lived to what we would call today a great age – 120 years old. His life was conveniently split into 3 forty year periods. The first forty years he spent in Egypt, but his life changed dramatically in the next forty years when he fled from the palace to the desert of Midian to look after his father’s flock. At the age of eighty God sent a reluctant shepherd to deliver the Hebrews from slavery. Moses saw and did miracles. He struggled with people who rebelled against God. Moses was a man of God, a meek man who knew God face to face. He was a sinner, along with his generation, who were condemned never to enter Canaan.
We live in a culture which values positive attitudes, which likes to portray positive images. In bookshops you can find many self-help books which tell us that the solution to all our problems is inside us; if we think positive things it will turn out all right. It’s always great to meet people with a sunny disposition. However, in verses 3-11 Moses gives us a serious dose of realism. Our life is short, we live under God’s anger because we are sinners. When we are here on earth life is hard. We may begin with hope and optimism but this turns to disappointment. God is fully aware of our sin, it is no secret from God.
Life may be more comfortable for some than others. There will be trouble. Christians will suffer for their faith: John 15 “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”
In this psalm we see a series of requests:
- “So teach us to number our days,” (Verse 12). Moses considers the brevity of life. We all think we will lead a long life, we put off serious thoughts about the end of our lives, yet we are told, “But Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8).
Moses asks for wisdom to see life as God sees it. Wisdom is seeing ourselves as we really are – sinners heading for a meeting with God. We need to see our sinfulness set against God’s purity.
- “Make me glad” (verse 15). Why? Because there is more to life than can be seen. Moses knew there is spiritual life where spiritual prosperity can live alongside certain hope. This short journey on earth will end in paradise.
- “Let your work appear to Your servants, And you glory to their children, And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands” (verses 16-17). Moses wants us to work, just as we are encouraged to do so in Philippians 2. God working is us involves us working. He begins the work by saving us and continues the work by sanctifying us. A Christian’s nature is changed. As we grow in grace our lives should reflect Jesus Christ.
Moses never really had a true home, yet he learned an important lesson, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.” (verse 1). Our permanent home is where the Lord is.