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Significance in Light of Eternity

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Ps. 90:1-17 Significance in Light of Eternity

Maranatha Baptist Church. Sunday Dec. 31, 2006. 10:00 am

Like any other year, in 2006 were heard accusations of racism. United Nations special envoy Stephen Lewis accused the world of racism for ignoring the plight of Africa. Mel Gibson went on a racist tirade after being stopped for drunk driving and Michael Richards’ known for his character portrayal of Kramer on Seinfeld, stumbled after being heckled in a comedy club responding with racist remarks.  Each of these responses has differing impacts. Most people realize just how useless the United Nations is often grinding to a halt due to selfish national self interests. Mel Gibson, with great personal resources, is able to use his own funds to continue his own personal projects, but Michael Richards is quite limited in his options. With little personal assets, his mistake will have significant future consequences.

Moses, the author of Psalm 90, probably wrote this Psalm 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, they had to wander in circles for 40 years in the wilderness until all those who rebelled (over a million funerals) had deceased.

As you leave 2006, there no doubt was mistakes made. There are probably unmet financial goals, fitness hopes, relational weaknesses, familiar alienation or personal spiritual devotion. How do we bridge a new year with past mistakes.

Psalm 90 can help our perspective on the past and our expectation of the future as we relate to our life in 1) comparison, 2) opposition or 3) obedience to God

1)      Life In Comparison to God (v. 1-6)

Moses is:

90: the man of God. He 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

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.


God is

90:2 from everlasting to everlasting. God’s nature is without beginning or end, free from all succession of time, and contains in himself the cause of time (cf. Ps. 102:27; Is. 41:4; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:4; 1 Tim. 6:16; Rev. 1:8).

Our intercessor, Christ is described as:

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

  • In a world that forever changing at breakneck speed, it is a comfort to know we can trust one who never changes. We can always know what He expects and that we can rely on him to always do what He promises.

Ahead to Verse 4

Psa 90:4  For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

  • For some 2006 was too long with sorrow. For others, it’s pleasure was fleeting, but for God, His perspective and control of events are constant. His grasp of our mistakes of the past, our worry of the future or our uncertainty of the present are understood and in control by Him.

Please turn to Gen. 3

Back to Verse 3

90:3 You turn man to dust

  • The translation is best of dust and not “Destruction”. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and other aniliationist like to use that translation to say that sinners will ultimately be destroyed.
  • But “Dust”, though different from the “dust” of Gen. 3:19, this phrase is no doubt a reference to that passage.

Gen 3:17  And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; Gen 3:18  thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. Gen 3:19  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

  • Sin has very real consequences. Because of sin, we suffer against a plantet in rebellion, work is difficult, and our bodies deterriate until death, when we return to the dust from what we were first created.
  • This year even saw documentaries, like “An Inconvenient truth” with Al Gore. The problem, besides some questionable science, is the fact that the ultimate solution to the environmental problem is not the UN, Keyoto teaties or councils on climate change, but holiness.
  • As we live in obedience to God’s decrees, we will be good stewarts of his resources.

Please turn to James 4

Things can change so quickly can’t they? In recent days we have seen trees hundreds of years old in Vancouver’s Stanley park topple over in wind storms.

Pro 27:1  Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Jam 4:13  Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-- Jam 4:14  yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

  • We are foolish to have confidence in any of the things of this life. Things can change so quickly

Things can change:

90:5 as with a flood. Humankind is snatched from the earth as though it were being swept away by floodwaters.

  • Recall just a year ago at this time the effect of the Sunami in Sumatra. Things can change so quickly.


Like a dream: This year passed like a nightmare or fleeting dream

Quote: Jim Elliot wrote: “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God”

Quotation: Where are you living today? Younger people tend to live in the future. Older people tend to live in the past. Wise people live in the present

Illustration Some time ago, psychologist William Moulton Marston asked three thousand persons, "What have you to live for?" He was shocked to find that 94 percent were simply enduring the present while waiting for the future. They would describe this as waiting for "something to happen: waiting for children to grow up and leave home, waiting for next year, waiting for another time to take a long-dreamed-about trip, waiting for tomorrow. They were all waiting without realizing that all anyone ever has is today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes.

How then are we to regard opportunities before us: perhaps we are too busy:

A poem entitled No Time to Play.

My precious boy with the golden hair
Came up one day beside my chair
And fell upon his bended knee
And said, “Oh, Mommy, please play with me! “

I said, “Not now, go on and play;
I’ve got so much to do today.
He smiled through tears in eyes so blue
When I said, “We’ll play when I get through. “

But the chores lasted all through the day
And I never did find time to play.
When supper was over and dishes done,
I was much too tired for my little son.

I tucked him in and kissed his cheek
And watched my angel fall asleep.
As I tossed and turned upon my bed,
Those words kept ringing in my head,

“Not now, son, go on and play,
I’ve got so much to do today. “
I fell asleep and in a minute’s span,
My little boy is a full-grown man.

No toys are there to clutter the floor;
No dirty fingerprints on the door;
No snacks to fix; no tears to dry;
The rooms just echo my lonely sigh.

And now I’ve got the time to play;
But my precious boy is gone away.
I awoke myself with a pitiful scream
And realized it was just a dream

For across the room in his little bed,
Lay my curly-haired boy, the sleepy-head.
My work will wait  til another day
For now I must find some time to play.

Psalm 90 can help our perspective on the past and our expectation of the future as we relate to our life in 1) comparison to God

2)  Life In Opposition to God (v. 7-11)

90:7 by your wrath. The physical bodies of the human race wear out by the effects of God’s judgment on sin in the universe (cf. Deut. 4:25–28; 11:16, 17). Death is by sin (Rom. 5:12).

  • Perhaps we feel that we have eluded the effects of sin. Sin takes a physical, mental, and relational toll.
  • This Psalm remember was written to a generation that suffered because of sin
  • Like the disobedient generation, those who habitually continue in sin will experience God’s wrath

Rom 5:9  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. Rom 5:10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Rom 5:11  More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Please turn to Heb. 4

For believers who occasionally sin and repent, there is no hiding from God

Psa 90:8  You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.

  • All sin is in clear view to the “face” of God.
  • We do all things, Coram Deo, before the face of God.


Of Moses Himself:

Deu 34:10  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.


Heb 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Heb 4:13  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


Ps. 90:9  For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.


  • Believers who genuinely repent and turn from sin will escape the wrath of God.
  • Yet we are are still in full view of God and will one day give an account for their time, talents and treasures.


Our years will end:

90:9 like a sigh. After struggling through his life of afflictions and troubles, a man’s life ends with a moan of woe and weariness.

90:10 seventy years … eighty years. Though Moses lived to be 120 years old, and “His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished” (Deut. 34:7), human life was usually more brief and lived under the anger of God.

·        This is a description of an average lifespan and it should not be misunderstood to be a promise to length of years.

·        The news everyday testifies to lives cut short in our eyes. Our lives will be demanded of us in an hour not of our choosing, perhaps sooner than we think.

Quote: Only a child, like the cartoon character Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes can say: “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die”.

For those like children, who fail to consider the implications of time and remain idle, we are warned:

2Th 3:6  Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

1Pe 4:3  The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 1Pe 4:4  With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 1Pe 4:5  but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Time Is a treasure...................

A...... How valuable is an Hour?
Ask the business man whose Flight was delayed an hour and caused him to miss a very important deal.

B...... How valuable Is one minute?
Ask the man who had a heart attack in the restaurant and the emt was at the next Table and saved his Life.

C..........How valuable Is a second?
Ask the Person who Hesitated for a second before swerving to avoid the on coming car.

D.........How valuable is a Fraction of a second?
Ask the olympic swimmer who missed Qualifying by six-Tenths of a second.

Quote: A.W. Tozer said it this way.
Time Is a Resource that is non Renewable and Nontransferable.
You can’t store it.
Slow it up
Hold it up
Divide it up or
Give it up
You can’t Hoard it up or
save up for a rainy day
When it lost, It has no Resurrection

Psa 90:11  Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?

Instead of explaining away life’s curses, a wise person will recognize God’s wrath towards sin as the ultimate cause of all afflictions and consequently learn to fear God.

Ecc 12:13  The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecc 12:14  For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Why was Moses so direct in Ps. 90? Calculations are that he had nearly 70 funerals a day for the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness for about 6000 deaths in total. This is such a direct object lesson to the consequence of sin.

Psalm 90 can help our perspective on the past and our expectation of the future as we relate to our life in 1) comparison to God 2)  Life In Opposition to God (v. 7-11)

3)  Life In Obedience to God (v. 12-17)


90:12 number our days. Wisdom brings this realization to cherish opportunity and Evaluate the use of time in light of the brevity of life.

Please turn to Eph. 5

  • There are different ways to number our day’s. If you go to

www., you can get an educated guess to the date of your death,

  • Like description in verse 10, this is an assumption, all other things being equal.
  • We are to count the days and make the day’s count.

1Co 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 1Co 6:20  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Eph 5:15  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, Eph 5:16  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:18  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, Eph 5:19  addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, Eph 5:20  giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 5:21  submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For those who submit to God, we can expect:

90:14 Your mercy.

  • This mercy is Hessed, covenantal blessing: Blessing for those who submit to God in faith and obedience.

Please turn to Heb. 3

90:17 the beauty of the Lord. The Lord’s beauty implies His delight, approval, and favor. establish the work of our hands. By God’s mercy and grace, one’s life can have value, significance, and meaning (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).


1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

  • Any genuine effort, will never be fruitless in God’s kingdom


What is the wisdom of this Psalm? What are the lessons to be learned?

Heb 3:13  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Heb 3:14  For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Heb 3:15  As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." Heb 3:16  For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? Heb 3:17  And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? Heb 3:18  And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? Heb 3:19  So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.


From Frances R. Havergal:

Another Year

Another year is dawning,
Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with thee.

Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness,
The glory of thy face.

Another year of leaning
Upon thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting,
Of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service,
Of witness for thy love,
Another year of training
For holier work above.

Another year is dawning,
Dear Father, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven,
Another year for thee.


O#52:  O God, Our Help in Ages Past, Isaac Watts/William Croft; Public Domain.

A Year Untried Before Me Lies

A year untried before me lies.
What it shall bring of strange surprise,
Of joy, or grief, I cannot tell;
But God my Father knoweth well

I make no concern of mine,
But leave it all with Love divine.
The sun may shed no light by day,
No stars at night illumine my way.

My soul shall still have no affright
Since God is all my life and light.
Though all the earthly lights grow dim,
He walks in light who walks with Him.

No ill can come but He can cure,
No word doth all of good insure:
He’ll see me through the journey’s length,
For daily need give daily strength!

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