Summary: Part two focuses on how we need to understand that our days here on earth are transient and that we must find ways to use them for God's service. It includes a personal testimony of how God dealt with me as I was experiencing some things.
Today (Part 2)
Psalm 73:3, 5, 7, 13-14, 17, 21-24
Two weeks ago I shared with you part one of this series I’ve titled “Today”. In pat one of this message I walked you through a timeline that demonstrated how the lifespan of man was shortened because of the wickedness that man chose to walk in. It got so bad that God wiped out everything and started over with Noah. (By the way, I saw the movie “Noah” and I do not recommend you seeing it if you’re looking for an accurate portrayal of what took place. That movie is more on the line of a make believe story that could lead some astray if they believed it to be factual. Just an FYI.) Even after God started over with Noah, by the time Abraham lived (towards the end of Noah’s life) man had once again strayed from God. Why is this important to understand? Abraham was in his fifties when Noah died so I believe that they definitely knew each other. Noah’s son, Shem, was still alive when Abraham died at the age of 175 so they all knew what had happened with the flood and why it happened and yet man still strayed away from God. Abraham was a righteous man and believed in God and God chose him to establish His covenant with him. Have you ever wondered why God did not choose Noah or even one of his sons? There was a reason that God chose Abraham. It seemed impossible for man (as a whole) to consistently dedicate himself to God and live according to God’s standard but Abraham did so. We see man’s rebellion over and over again throughout the Old and New Testaments. So what does all of this have to do with our today?
In part one of this message I shared with you that today gives us an opportunity to look back on yesterday and see things more clearly than when we were experiencing the situations of yesterday. I also told you that today allows us to plan for tomorrow even though we do not know what tomorrow will hold. The main point that I attempted to make in part one was the fact that we spend so much time looking back (at our past) and planning for our tomorrows that we do not focus on doing what needs to be done today. Today represents another opportunity to fulfill things that we are “supposed” to be doing. We may chase and achieve our dreams, but those dreams may not always be in line with what God is trying to get us to do. This morning I want to close this message by sharing with you some thoughts around how we look at our “todays” currently and how we can choose to live them differently from this day forward. If you recall from part one, after God reduced the number of years man would live He wiped the earth clean and started over with Noah and his family. When Noah and his family came off the ark, they were God focused. But once again, the farther man got away from the flood (the generations following Noah) the easier it became to forget about the flood and live according to the desires in each man’s heart. I want to start this morning with a prayer of Moses. Moses lived some 500 years after Abraham and we see through the lives of the Children of Israel that they were still easily swayed to rebel against God. Turn with me to Psalms 90.
I. Moses Prayer
When you read the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, you will find the story Moses and how God used him to bring the Children of Israel out of Egypt. One of the things you will find that was consistent with the Children of Israel was how easily they rebelled against God or how quickly they forgot how God had delivered them out of Egypt. This was the reason they stayed in the wilderness for 40 years, as God allowed them to wander until all of the adults who had rebelled against Him died. What I want to read to you is something that Moses said in one of his prayers. Psalms 90:9-12 says "For all our days have declined in Your fury; We have finished our years like a sigh. As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years. Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away. Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom." When Moses said this prayer man's days had reduced from 120 years to 70 years (80 years in some cases). Between Noah and Moses, God had taken another 50 years off the life span of man. Are you seeing a trend here? We know that some people today live to be older than 80 years, but some of that is due to our medical advances. Moses said that man's days had declined due to God's fury. In other words man's days were reduced for a reason. Do you know that in 1900 the average life span for a man in the United States was 46 years? Today the average lifespan is in the middle 70s with our advances in medicine. But with the addition of the years have man gotten wiser? My point is that in the beginning man lived for hundreds of years. The longer they lived the farther away they drifted from God. When God wiped out everything in the flood and started over with Noah and his family, the life span of man following Noah would be on average 120 years. By the time Moses brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt, it was 70 years. Before modern day science, the lifespan of man continued to decrease.