Summary: This message looks at Psalm 90 and Moses’ advice on how to live a life that counts. It’s a revolutionary way of making New Years resolutions.
The ball is going to be dropping in Times Square in just a few days. And 100 million Americans will head down a well-traveled path
We’re frustrated by our bad habits, by our bad choices. So, we vow to change things. We make New Year’s resolutions. We says, “This year, I’m dieting or exercising regularly or quitting smoking for good.” But by May, the stair stepper you bought is gathering dust in the closet, the diet books are sitting on the shelf unread, and the cigarettes still are in your back pocket. So, we quit. We give up.
Making resolutions is the easy part. A recent survey by psychologists at the University of Washington, found most people keep their #1 resolution for only two months. So how can we do better? God has a better idea. I call it…
Text: Psalm 90
Out of 150 chapters in the book of Psalms, this was the only one written by Moses – the man who God used to write the first five books of the Bible. He’s worth listening to!
Moses led God’s people from Egypt. You might remember that they were in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses saw a whole generation die. And at the end of his life, he sits down and writes. He has some observations to make.
Maybe you feel like you’ve been in the wilderness this past year.
The key verse is verse 17. And it ends this way in one translation:
Give permanence to the work of our hands.
If you want to leave a legacy, listen up. If you want your life to count after you are dead and gone, pay attention.
1. Get a God’s eye view. vv. 1-2
In verses 1 and 2, Moses is looking at God. He’s reminding us that God alone is eternal.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Look at the mountains. He says, ‘Lord, even before the mountains existed, You were. And after they return to rubble, You still will be.”
This is Moses’ way of saying, “It’s not about us. It’s about God.” Life begins and ends with Him.
If you want to find out what to do with your time, look to the one who is not time-bound. God is not a recent invention. He’s been there from forever and will be around forever.
2. Remember, life is short. vv. 3-6
After Moses looks at God, he looks at us. God is eternal and we are temporary. This is a lesson in contrasts. God is infinite. We are finite. Look at verse 3:
You return man to dust and say, "Return, O children of man!"
Moses wrote Genesis. He knew we came from dust and we are headed back to dust. Verse 4.
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
Moses wrote about a man named Methuselah. He lived 969 years. But even the longest life lived is like a yesterday to God. Verse 5.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream…
A flood comes suddenly. No one is safe who is in the path of a flood. Everyone is devastated. Verses 5b-6
… like grass that is renewed in the morning: In the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
In the near east, little flowers would spring up in the morning. New growth represents new life, hope, optimism. But in the heat of the day, the flowers fade. Our lives are like that. We are fading away.
3. Remember, sin makes you sigh. vv. 7-11
Why is life so short? It’s our sin that has shortened our lives.
For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
When God made Adam and Eve, they weren’t meant to die. God told them, “Don’t eat of this tree. Because in the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.” They disobeyed God and they died. We’ve been dying ever since.
Sin blocks God’s blessing from your life. It activates His anger. And sin brings about death. Romans 3:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” Now, if sin brings about death, what does death bring?
For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The NIV says, “We end our years with a moan.” Sin brings death and death brings a sigh.