My Bible ascribes Psalm 90 to Moses. Perhaps the servant of the Lord wrote these words in anticipation of his death in order to ease the suffering of those he would leave without his leadership and guidance. Today the words of this psalm continue to comfort those who have lost a loved one.
Some people live in one house all their lives; others may move many times. Our common reality is that none of us really lives anywhere but in the Lord. For a people wandering in the wilderness for forty years, this is good news indeed. God provides a home and is their home. Before the mountains were formed, before the earth took shape, God already was and will ever be.
When we consider the scope of the universe and the idea of eternity, we face another reality. We are small and our time is short. Like grass that comes and goes, our lives are over quickly. The psalmist challenges us to make the most of whatever time we have. He petitions God for some kind of balance between joys and sorrows. That challenge lies before us in the present as well. All our technology has made little difference in the overall life span of a healthy human being. We still have a limited amount of time to make an impact on our world. Finally, the psalmist asks that God guide our hands, so that the impact we do make will be pleasing and beneficial to God and the world.
We find ourselves caught between the two “turns,” one in verse 3 and one in verse 13. In verse 3, God speaks, bidding humans to turn back to dust. In verse 13, mortals implore God to turn and have compassion. The brevity of our life as humans on this earth and our yearning for God’s help while we are here frame our being.
Loving God, grant us wisdom and courage to make the most of every day of life we’re given. Amen.
Deuteronomy 34 narrates Moses’ death and Joshua’s succession, both the end of Moses’ life and the continuation of his influence. Psalm 90 is ascribed to Moses, and the tone suits the setting portrayed in Deuteronomy 34. In First Thessalonians Paul continues his recollection of the relationship between himself and the Thessalonians. Paul and his coworkers acted out their love of neighbor, a love that is possible only because of their prior love of God. The Gospel places Jesus in a setting of controversy with the religious leaders of the day. The exchange about the greatest commandment demonstrates that the religious authorities in fact observe none of the commandments because of their inability to understand properly what Jesus calls the “ rst” and “second” commandments.
• Read Deuteronomy 34:1-12. How is God speaking to you about your life? What endings seem imminent? What new beginning is God forming you for?
• Read Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17. Notice all the references to time. How do you experience time when you perceive God’s work in your life? How do you measure time when God seems absent?
• Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8. What relationship is God using to form you spiritually? Who are you tenderly sharing the gospel and yourself with so that God is using you in someone else’s life?
• Read Matthew 22:34-46. The writer states, “It is impossible to love God without also loving those created in God’s image.” What are the implications of this statement on your life? the life of your church?
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