Summary: Time points out man’s limitation and God’s sovereignty.
TIME, AN EVER-ROLLING STREAM Rev. Raymond Lu
It has been estimated that in an average lifespan of seventy five years, a Christian will spend twenty-three years asleep, nineteen years at work, six years in travelling, seven and one-half years in dressing and attending to personal toilet, nine years with T.V. and other forms of entertainment, six years eating, four years of sickness- and one half year in devotions.
-Alan Redpath, Captivity to Conquest, p. 215). Certainly, this is discounting the time that we spend in social networking.
Time is a valuable gift from the Most High. God is the God of time and eternity. The poor and rich, young and old, single or married, employed or jobless, a street kid or the president of the Philippines, all have 86,4000 seconds of time- which represents 1,440 minutes- equal to twenty four hours each day. We enjoy the same amount of time in a day, regardless of our status.
Benjamin Franklin says, Time “is the stuff life is made of.” Isaac Watts says, time is “like an ever-rolling stream.” William James, talking about time says, “the great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”An anonymous says, “life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you want to, but you can spend it only one.” But the common definition of time is that, “it is a stretch of duration in which things happen.” That means even if asleep, time runs “like an ever-rolling stream.”
Moses was a great leader of Israel. He was a busy man. In him we see a man who makes a good use of his time. We see a faithful servant of God, and a steward of time. Psalm 90 is the only Psalm attributed to the great man of God, Moses. It is a form of prayer addressed to God. Just like other Psalms, Psalm 90 is a song. A commentator observes that a Psalm “begins on a high note, strikes somber chords in the middle stanzas, and then crescendos in an optimistic appeal to God. In regards to time, let us not forget who God is.
GOD IS ETERNAL (vv. 1,2)
The generations speak of time and God’s changeless character. Moses is a first-hand witness of God’s unchanging character toward Israel. In many occasions, Israel turned their back on God to find that the same God whom they rejected picks them up when they fall. Israel can look back to their rich history and find that God has been always there for them. It is wonderful to think that the God we know is exactly the same God that we read in the Scripture.
God is eternal. Farther than generations, He is before creation. A.W. Tozer, named twentieth century prophet said, “Only the eternal one could stand in the timeless ‘I am’ and say, ‘I was’ and ‘I will be”… Begin where we will, God is there first. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which was, and which is, and which is to come, the Almighty. If we grope back to the farthest limits of thought, where imagination touches the pre-creation void, we shall find God there” (The Divine Conquest, p. 19). What A.W. Tozer said was a reflection to what Paul said in Colossians 1:15-17. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."
Moses traces through generations and finds God is there. He went farther to the time before the creation, He is there. He concludes, “even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God” (Psa.90:2b). Science tells us that the orbit of our planet commands the chronometer of our time. That means when the planets stop moving, time stops. When time stops, there is eternity. It is awesome to think that before time, God is.
MAN IS TEMPORARY (vv. 3-7).
In his prayer, Moses uses figures and expressions such as dust… yesterday… watch in the night… grass. These exactly describe the brevity of time that we live on earth.
James 1:11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
The preacher in Ecclesiastes, when confronted with the same fact that life is short, said, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!” He doesn’t see any meaning in life. When Moses was confronted with the fact that man is temporary, he prayed, “Teach us to number our days...”
GOD IS IN CONTROL OF TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCES.
“Behind the stretch of duration and anything that happens, God is in control. Behind the hands of our clock, God’s hand, which is the ultimate and perfect chronometer moves so that in Him, “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17). We cannot make good use of time without encountering the Holy God.