Monday, January 28, 2008

Psalm 90:9

For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
(ESV)
There are some verses that I sit down to write a commentary for, and it almost seems an injustice to try to rephrase them. This would be one of those verses.

So, instead of giving a specific commentary, let me challenge you, as I have been challenged in these last few weeks.

When you read the Bible, read it devotionally. In other words, read it with the knowledge that you are truly reading The very Words of God. Read it like there is something there for you. Pray before you read it. Whether it is your personal reading time or you just notice a verse in a book or a blog. It doesn't matter who quotes it, when you read it, remember that it is God's word.

It is living and powerful. It is sharp. It will cut you all the way down to the soul and the spirit, even to where the thoughts and the intents of the heart lie.

According to this verse, your days are passing away. So, read it with prayer and an already open heart.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Psalm 90:8

You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
(ESV)
The words "have set" could be translated as "placed" or "positioned". It is active. The word "before" conveys the idea of a conspicuousness. It is directly in the face. So, in other words, God has actively set our sins directly before his face, even our secret sins.

Why?

I believe that the key is found at the end of this verse. It is just a hint, but the fact that these sins are in the light of God's presence is very important. Bringing our lives under the light is ultimately an act of love, it is not a way of God saying, "Look what you did!"

Walk away from this verse with this: First, you need to know in your heart that there are no sins that are secret from God. Secondly, He brings these sins into the light for your own good.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Psalm 90:7

For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
(ESV)
Here the Psalmist makes a connection between the length of our days and the wrath of God. This is an interesting connection, but just consider that first phrase, "For we are brought to an end by your anger;"

I know that we are in modern times and only those backwoods mountain preachers still talk about God being angry, but we are only reading the verse. We (as humans) are brought to an end by God's anger.

I suppose that this could be referring to the curse of sin. After Adam sinned, part of the curse would be that he would die, but God (in His grace) banned us from the tree of life. I believe that He did not want us to eat of that tree, and end up stuck in this sin-cursed state.

I believe, though, in this Psalm, that the anger of God shortening our days is an overall statement. We are still sinners today, and especially as a whole group (the entire human race) we arouse God's anger over sin, and He shortens our days.

The second phrase in this verse is almost a restatement of the first phrase. In fact, that word dismays carries with it the idea of hurries. His wrath (burning anger) hurries us along to our death.

Psalm 7:11 says, "God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day."

Whether you live up in the mountains or in a bustling metropolis, don't forget God's wrath. It just may have an affect on your days.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Psalm 90:5-6

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.
(ESV)
It is so important to remember, as we wake in the morning and as we go to sleep at night, that the coming and going of days is not ultimately because our earth is spinning on an axis. Our seasons are not because of this planet's revolutions around the sun. These physical, planetary motions are only a showing of God's extreme power.

The days, weeks, months and years are flowing past because He proclaims that is the way it should be. Remember, there was an evening and a morning several days before there was a sun or a moon or any star in heaven. If the biblical account is true (which it is) then the earth is the oldest bit of matter in the universe. He proclaimed an evening and a morning, and it was so.

So wake in the morning and thank the God of all that there is a morning. Go to sleep tonight and thank Him again that there is a night to rest.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Psalm 90:4

For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
(ESV)
Continuing in our acknowledgment of our own dustness, we can consider the passing of time in God's eyes.

As I get older, time seems to pass ever faster. I used to contemplate why this would happen. Why would my age cause my perception of time to change? Think about it though. When you are 2 years old, a year is half of your life, but when you are 20 years old, a year is only 1/20th of your life. When you are 1 year old, a day is 0.27% of your life, but when you are 80 years old, a day is 0.00003% of your life. Each day is increasingly insignificant compared to your entire experience. So, just take that out to the infinite. God has always been. God always will be. A thousand years is but a moment to Him.

I also believe that God exists outside of time. Compound this with His omniscience, His omnipresence, and His omnipotence, and it is no wonder that He can work out every plan in perfect harmony with every other plan... without batting an eye.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Psalm 90:3

You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
(ESV)
Have you ever stopped to try to consider this world and all of its people from God's point of view? He knows we are just dust. He made the first one of us from the dust of the ground, and he watches as generations come and go, and these people, who were once dust return back to dust.

It is important, as we read through this Psalm, that we acknowledge our dustness. It is amazing that we read the Psalm. It is amazing that we can read of God, and learn about Him. It is amazing that we have enough self-awareness to acknowledge that we are truly dust.

As you visit the store today or drive down the street or take a walk or even look at your children... remember, we are all dust.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Psalm 90:2

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
(ESV)
To. That is the word that I am going to focus on in this verse. The word "to" stuck right between the "everlasting" and the other "everlasting". That little word to means 'as far as'.

Hold out your arm to the left. Now hold out your other arm to the right. Now stretch each one of them to infinity. That is how much God is God. From infinity as far as infinity, He is God.

In fact, He was God before your arms were made. Before there was a human to consider His God-ness, He was God. Before any of this matter or any of this energy, He was God.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Psalm 90:1

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
(ESV)
For the Lord to be your dwelling place, there are two things that need to happen.

First, the Lord needs to be a dwelling place, and if you know Him, you know that He is exactly that. He is a shelter from the storm. He is a refuge. He is our rock, our fortress. He is our comforter. He fulfills His role of dwelling place beyond any human understanding.

But secondly, for the Lord to be our dwelling place (emphasis placed on "our"), we need to enter in. We need to enter into fellowship with this God of refuge. For Him to be our God, is more than acknowledging the existence of that dwelling, it is to actually dwell there. To walk there, to talk there, to live there, to lay our heads down and rest there.

He has been a dwelling place in all generations of man, and there have always been men who made Him their dwelling.

Where do you dwell?

Friday, January 04, 2008

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
(NIV)


Pure - (1)free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt (2) free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine (3) blameless, innocent (4) unstained with the guilt of anything

Faultless - free from that by which the nature of a thing is deformed and debased, or its force and vigor impaired

I added these definitions in here to help in understanding the type of religion we are shooting for. We want the religion that God (THE God), our Father accepts. The religion that is clean and pure. The religion that is not deformed or debased. The religion that has its full power and vigor.

What is this religion? It is a two fold religion. It is both outward and inward. This is a theme that you will see throughout the book of James. You can't neglect one without affecting the other. They go hand in hand. Jesus tells us that all of our actions come from the heart. That is actually a great study, if you have the time. Look up all of the verses on the word heart. You will be amazed at what the Bible tells us about the role of the heart.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

James 1:26

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
(NIV)

Religious comes from a word that means to cry out. It is definitely referring to worship, and it is talking about crying out to God. If you consider yourself a worshiper, and one who is calling on the name of the Lord, you must rein your tongue in.

The word religion is similar to the word for religious, but it refers more to the outward ceremonies. There is nothing wrong with ceremonies in the Church, by the way. Without digging too much into this topic, it matters less what the ceremony is, and more your heart in the ceremony.

If you are doing all of the right stuff in church, or during your times of worship, whether community or personal, but you can't even watch your mouth... its pointless worship. Don't kid yourself (and be deceived) God is not fooled at all. As the psalmist puts it, "it is a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart that God desires."