Summary: We can give thanks in 1)Praise of God’s Eternatlity 2) The Perception of our Frailty and 3) The Plea for God’s Steadfast Love
Thanksgiving is a time when we can formally recognize and give thanks for the obvious and more abstract things that shape our lives here in Canada.
The first recognized Canadian thanksgiving was held in 1578, at least forty years earlier than that of our friends to the south. In a misguided attempt to discover a northern passage to the Orient, English explored Martin Forbisher succeeded in establishing a settlement in Newfoundland. In order to give thanks for surviving the arduous sea journey, Frobisher celebrated with a harvest feast.
The Parliament of Canada, formally declared the second Monday of October as “a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”.
Moses, the author of Psalm 90, like Martin Frobisher, could testify to almighty God for particular blessing following hardship. He lived from 1526-1406 BC. Although raised in the royal household of Egypt, he fled the country of his birth after killing a man. He lived in exile tending sheep. God called him to lead the people of his genuine birth, the Israelites, to demand of the royal family of Egypt to let the people of God go.
Moses probably wrote Psalm 90 in connection with Israel’s failure at Kadesh-barnea recorded in Numbers 13-14. The people (excepting Joshua and Caleb) refused to follow Moses into the Promised Land. This mistake had devastating consequences for the entire generation. Consequently, during the Exodus from Egypt and their failure at Kadesh-barnea, they had to wander in circles for 40 years in the wilderness until all those who rebelled (over a million funerals) had deceased. Despite hardship, Moses showed great thanks and praised God who he recognized as the source of every blessing and the one deserving the thanks.
I have had the blessing of being your pastor for almost a year now and this is a time for Lisa, Ethan, Garret, and I to give thanks with and for you. All of us in Canada enjoy freedom of assembly, relative safety, health, opportunity and material possessions. Corporately, every time of prayer, worship or fellowship should be a time of giving thanks but this special time of year is an appropriate celebration of God’s goodness.
As a people of God we gather together this morning to give thanks in 1)Praise of God’s Eternatlity (Ps. 90 1-2) 2) The Perception of our Frailty (Ps. 90 3-13 and 3) The Plea for God’s Steadfast Love (Ps. 90 14-17).
1)Praise of God’s Eternatlity (Ps. 90 1-2)
Psalm 90:1 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.
The inspired superscript to this Psalm says this is:
A Prayer of Moses, The Man of God
Ps 90 superscript the man of God. Moses is described as the “Man of God” (Deut. 33:1) which is a technical term used over 70 times in the OT, always referring to one who spoke for God. He brings God’s message to the people of God to consider their life in comparison to God
Moses was unique in that the Lord knew him face to face
Deu 34:10-12 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, Deu 34:11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, Deu 34:12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
-Before we can praise God or give Him thanks, we must know Him and be known by Him. Only when we study who God is can we properly praise Him for His character and actions.
-Those who do not know God, mistakenly attribute themselves as the source of blessing: ie. Their cleverness, determination education etc.
-Only when we place our faith in Jesus Christ; God in the flesh; are we known by God.
In the second half of Ps 90:1 God is
90:1 our dwelling place. God is our sanctuary for protection, sustenance, and stability (cf. Deut. 33:27; Ps. 91:9).
-Regardless of our problems, confusions or going into the unknown, we can go forward with confidence because we know the one who knows the path before us and protects, sustains and is always there.
-This is a statement of faith: A Statement declaring that the same God who has been their protector and provider in the past will supply every need, not every want, for what God requires.
Thomas Ken, wrote in 1674 the lyrics which are often sung as the Doxology from last verse of a longer hymn, Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun.