Summary: Wisdom is helpful. But what is it? How do we get it? Check out Moses...
“Soul Talk: Why I Need Wisdom”
Wisdom is helpful. The new pastor’s family was given a pie, baked by a member of the congregation, who was a poor cook. The pie was inedible so the family threw it in the garbage. Now the pastor needed wisdom – how could he thank the lady and at the same time be truthful? After a lot of thought – and hopefully prayer – he sent a note which said, “Thank you for being so kind and thoughtful. I can assure you that a pie like yours never lasts long at our house!”
Wisdom is helpful - so much so that one morning the young new bank president made an appointment with his predecessor to seek some wise advice. He began, “Sir, as you well know, I lack a great deal of the qualifications you already have for this job. You have been very successful as president of this bank, and I wondered if you would be kind enough to share with me some of the insights you have gained from your years here that have been the keys to your success.” The older man replied, “Young man, two words: good decisions.” The young man responded, Thank you very much, sir, but how does one come to know which is the good decision?” “One word, young man: experience.” “But how does one get experience?” “Two words, young man: bad decisions.” (1)
Certainly Moses, the author of Psalm 90, knew about bad decisions. He had made his share of them during his 40 years in the palace, his 40 years as a shepherd in the desert, and now in his 40 years of leading Israel in the wilderness. Perhaps that’s why he was so conscious of the need for wisdom. And just perhaps we can learn from him.
As he contemplates life, Moses begins with A PROFESSION OF FAITH. (1-2) “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” ‘Lord’ is a Hebrew word CELEBRATING GOD’S MAJESTIC AUTHORITY AND ACKNOWLEDGING HIS SOVEREIGNTY. He’s celebrating God as ‘my Supreme Master.’ (2) It’s important to recognize Moses’ situation as he wrote this profession. He was in the wilderness; not in the halls of Pharaoh; no longer in the comfort of the safe, routine life of a shepherd, but in a wilderness. He was leading the tribes of Israel as they were taking up their tents and marching along, with no settled dwelling place. So he lifted his eyes above and said, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.” (3) Recalling their history, he saw that GOD HAD ALWAYS BEEN HOME TO ISRAEL, generation after generation. He alone had been their house, their place of comfort and security. (4) That’s where Moses begins.
Throughout the centuries philosophers and others have looked at life and tried to draw conclusions about God. Moses looked at God and drew conclusions about life. IT IS GOD WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DEAL. H.G. Wells once poignantly said, "If there is no God, nothing matters. If there is a God, nothing else matters!" (5) The Apostle Paul professed the same faith (Col. 1:15-18; 3:3), “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy… For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” IT IS JESUS CHRIST WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DEAL. As we contemplate life, this is the profession of faith with which we must begin. We begin with God in Jesus Christ and draw conclusions about life.
Because of his profession of faith, Moses could proceed to AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF FACTS. (3-10) Moses highlights 2 facts in particular. First, he acknowledges THE BREVITY OF LIFE. From Numbers 20 we know that Miriam and Aaron have died. Moses knows he soon will die and without entering the land of promise. So Moses summarizes human life (3-6): “You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—they are like the new grass of the morning: In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.” OUR LIVES ARE LIMITED BY THE SWIFTNESS OF TIME. Isn’t it true that the older we get the more we wonder where the time went?