Sunday, October 19, 2014

Did you know that Moses wrote a Psalm?

Psalm 90 (NKJV) ~ A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

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,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
Moses was, to our knowledge, the first one to ask God His name. And God answered, I Am That I Am. Wording varies depending upon your translation of Scripture, but it boils down to a statement of His eternality.
This concept can be the hardest thing to get our brains around. How can a being have no beginning and no end? For that matter, how can eternity itself stretch endlessly forward, back ... above, below, beyond all that we know and we see, forever and ever without end?

And yet, I believe it foundational to everything else. How could God be God, for starters, if we could wrap our minds around all He is? If He were not completely and utterly mind-blowing?

You turn man to destruction,
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
You carry them away like a flood;
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
In the morning it flourishes and grows up;
In the evening it is cut down and withers.

And time, by comparison, is here and gone. In light of that—we are ephemeral creatures who, as James said, are like vapors that appear then vanish—how can we refuse to believe in the Lord? How can we, pun not entirely intended, blow our chance at becoming fully corporeal, fully real, formed of changeable time but transplanted into the vast and unmovable Eternal? To be eternal, ourselves?

Verse 3 gives us a clue, then, why God allows hard things to happen to us. “You turn man to destruction and say, ‘Return ...’ ” He lets the terrible things come to make us all turn to Him ... to cause even those of us who love Him to lean more deeply into Him ... because only by looking at Him, pressing into Him, will we find what we need to endure the hurricane-force winds of this life.

Only by leaning into Him, the Eternal One Himself, do we in fact become infused with the eternal.

For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

This from the man who stood face to face with the Eternal, himself. Whose face glowed with the glory of I Am. Whose heart possibly understood better than anyone else of his time the passion and fury that comprises this One, the love and jealousy and righteous wrath He pours into His pursuit of us and care over us. Let us understand the brevity of our lives, he prayed, so that our very hearts might be changed to understand wisdom.

13 Return, O Lord!
How long?
And have compassion on Your servants.
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
16 Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory to their children.
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.

Even in his position of intimacy with God, or maybe because of it, Moses felt the press of his own mortality, the weight of God’s exacting perfection ... but he also knows that the Lord is a God of compassion and mercy, that joy in Him is the thing to be desired. And so he not only begs the Lord for joy enough to balance the affliction they’ve suffered, for the Lord to reveal Himself to us, but he steps up with boldness to ask that the Lord would clothe us with His own glory ... and to somehow make our labor, our work, as eternal as He is.

Would an eternal God really do that for these poor wisps of vapor? For us? Not only lift us from the mist of futility that comprises existence on this planet, but even grace our works and efforts with lasting substance?

I believe He not only can ... He does.


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