Summary: A Memorial Day Sermon dealing with death in relation to our need for God’s salvation from Psalm 90.
Death Becomes Us
Scripture: Psalm 90
Memorial day – not morbid – but realistic. Dead people’s day = My birthday. Latest statistic from USA Today – 100% Mortality Rate world-wide still. All people die. How we respond to death says much about our understanding of God’s role.
Tombstone in Springdale, Ohio: "Here lies Jamie Smith, wife of Thomas Smith, marble cutter. This monument was erected by her husband as a tribute to her memory and a specimen of his work. Monuments of the same style 350 dollars." Respect for the dead.. Respect for God.
I. Man is Temporary – God is Eternal (vv 1-6)
Here we find man’s frail and brief life in contrast to God’s eternal nature. Our dwelling place… the Psalmist cites his confidence in the everlasting nature of God.
Deuteronomy 33:27 - The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arm.
All generations have found this to be true. The Lord is immortal and everlasting, while man is mortal and temporary. The Lord is above time; man is ever time-conscious. Man is at the utter disposal of God – dust to dust.
Mark Twain, became weary of life. Shortly before his death, he wrote, "A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle;...they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; ...those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. The release comes at last--the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them--and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence,...a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever."
May not like his theology – but he’s hit the nail on the head. As the preacher in Ecclesiastes says – Vanity vanity – all is vanity.
II. God’s Wrath Consumes Man (vv 7-12)
Man is consumed by God’s Wrath. The psalmist moves on to tell us that the reason for man’s mortal nature and suffering. In comparing God’s timeless eternal nature to man’s seventy or eighty years – the Psalmist shows we are but a pitifully short lived creature. Further – this span of years is filled with pain, sorrow, and suffering. The Psalmist cries out for teaching and wisdom to help man discern what the meaning of life is.
The band “Creed” asks the question in their album Human Clay, “What’s this life for?” Question we all want answers for…Why breathe, pain, etc.
In seeking to answer these questions we must look to the author of our life: God. Like the Psalmist our cry must be to God Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
III. Seek the Favor of God (vv 13-17)
We turn to seek God’s favor – not to escape punishment but to define our meaning in life. The psalmist appeals to God to grant happiness in proportion to the amount of suffering they have endured. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.