Summary: There will come a time for you when God drops a sign in your life that causes you to seriously question your life-path, your priorities and be forced to deal with your dreams and aspirations. It is a defining moment when you see life screaming by, you que
Opening Statement: I’m reminded of the sign that was posted on the land of an Indiana farmer who had a problem with people taking a short-cut by cutting across his land. The potential trespasser would read: “If you are going to cross this field, you had better do it in 9.8 seconds; the bull can do it in 10!”
There will come a time for you when God drops a sign in your life that causes you to seriously question your life-path, your priorities and be forced to deal with your dreams and aspirations. It is a defining moment when you see life screaming by, you question the past, you evaluate the short-cuts taken, and you’re not sure if you’re prepared for tomorrow. This crisis moment involves intense introspection. “Is this all I am going to do the rest of my life? Is this all I am going to achieve?”
Background: Our text today was written by a man who had reached a life crisis. Moses is the author of this psalm and it was probably written in connection with Israel’s failure at Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 13-14). Remember what happened? The people (excepting Joshua and Caleb) refused to follow Moses into the Promised Land. Consequently, they had to wander in circles for 40 years in the wilderness until all those who rebelled (over a million funerals) had deceased. For Moses, things looked pretty bleak, having witnessed this incredible death toll (an average of over 80 funerals a day). By any reckoning when Moses wrote this psalm he was not young. He was eighty during the exodus, and he lived to be 120, so he may have written this when he was a hundred years old or so--we don’t know precisely. But here is someone who has put off the rosy spectacles of youth and now is reflecting upon his life’s work. Psalm 90 is Moses’ midlife crisis. He was questioning his role, his mortality. He had had his culminating event and was intensely introspective. He was uncertain about his legacy. He wanted to know that his life meant something. He did the only thing he could do: he turned to God in prayer and sought an eternal abiding place in the Lord. This man of God then took out his journal and began to pour out his prayer to the Lord. If you’re feeling disoriented with life and the passage of time…
Series Title: Finding Sanctuary in Psalm 90
Sermon Title: Psalm 90 – A Passion for the Present Moment
Theme: Human Mortality and the Present Moment
Sermon Review: The Book of Psalms went through several editing phases and is actually a collection of collections spanning a thousand year period. The book is subdivided into 5 separate books. Psalm 90 is a Psalm of national lament (note the “we” in v. 7, “our” in v.8, “us” in v. 12, and “our” in v. 17). More than likely the community of Israel prayed this prayer on special fasting days after some tragic event in their journey back to wholeness.
Chiasmus of Psalm 90
Chiasmus (a crossing or intersection of two tracts) is concentric parallelism whereby an author shapes his literary work in order to accentuate the main idea or theme he wishes to convey to his readers.
A The Lord is both the believers’ Protector and Creator (vv. 1-2)
B The Lord’s authority over man (vv. 3-6)
C Believers’ iniquity brings forth the Lord’s anger and wrath (vv. 7-9)
X THE BREVITY OF LIFE (v. 10)
C’ Believers are to contemplate the Lord’s anger and wrath (vv. 11-12)
B’ The believers’ appeal to the Lord’s covenanted mercy (vv. 13-15)
A’ The believers’ request that their works be confirmed by the Lord (vv. 16-17)
Proposition: In light of the brevity of life, Moses and the community of Israel ask for wisdom, the restoration of God’s favor, a fresh revelation of his power, and his blessing upon their labors.
Key Word: While this passage explores many themes, the key theme according to the chiasmic structure is the brevity of life, the passage of time and how that should lead us to have a passion for the present moment. This can be drawn out by a series of contrasts.
Psalm 90 - A prayer of Moses, the man of God.
God’s Eternality and Man’s Frailty (1-6)
90:1 O sovereign master, you have been our protector [dwelling place] through all
90:2 Even before the mountains came into existence,
or you brought the world into being [you gave birth to the earth and
world], you were the eternal God.
Comment: Moses was worn out. After a 38 to 40 year camping trip, you would be too! He delighted in the fact that God was home to him. If you are a believer, your home rests in the arms of God, not on this earth. You’re a pilgrim. Sometimes pilgrims need reminded where home truly is.