I spent some time looking for a Scripture passage to post this morning – something that would make for an appropriate reflection as we head into a new year. As I was reading through some other sites I found that another blogger had posted the text of Psalm 90, a prayer of Moses, the man of God. It may perhaps be a strange choice to begin a new year and some would even consider it a depressing Psalm that speaks of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death. Yet primarily it speaks of the power of God, that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the same now as He was in 2004. He is the same now as He was five years ago when we all sat staring at our television screens, wondering if the power would go out and it would be the end of the world as we knew it. He is the same now as He was two thousand years ago when His Son was on the earth and He is the same now as He was the day He brought forth the world by His word.
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.
You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
This is the only Psalm ascribed to Moses and in it he cries out to God on behalf of his generation as they wandered in the wilderness. He contrasts the eternity of God with the mortality of men. A thousand years is but a day in God’s eyes, yet our lives, full of toil and trouble, pass away like a sigh.
When I compare my life, which is but a vapor, to the eternality of God, what can I do but to call out to God for wisdom that I might live my life in a way that pleases, honors and glorifies my Maker. Some day, in the eyes of men, my life will be reduced to the little dash that will be engraved on my tombstone between the year of my birth and the year of my death. But God knows and will remember each moment. Each moment of my life has been given to me in trust and God requires that I live each day, each hour, each second for His glory. My prayer, as I head into a new year, is that God will teach me to number my days, that I may have a heart of wisdom – a heart that overflows with love and praise for Him. I pray that the favor of the Lord will be upon this generation of His children that He might establish the work of our hands, providing eternal significance to the acts of sinful but forgiven men.
And in that spirit I wish to you and to your family a very happy new year.