The New Year will be here in one day. I am often indecisive about actual resolutions I am contemplating, because I hate not meeting a goal I set. Thank goodness God is not bound by such parameters. Did you ever stop to think that at the very least; God has moved on to plan B in dealing with the world? For some of us individually, He may have been through the whole plan alphabet several times already!
From the Bible we know that God’s Plan A was to have His created beings walking in perfect sinless harmony with Him and enjoying His creation forever on the earth. According to Moses in Psalm 90, God’s Plan B—implemented because of man’s sin—ushered in life’s brevity and afflictions. (I believe sin can be defined as any action taken against God and His ways.) Because of sin in the world, both personal and universal, our ship is sinking. It’s not a matter of if, but when we will die.
“You turn man back to dust and corruption, and say Return , O sons to the earth.” Verse 3
“Who knows the power of Your anger? (Who worthily connects this brevity of life with Your recognition of sin?) And Your wrath, who connects it with the reverent and worshipful fear that is due You?” Verse 11
A surface look at Psalm 90 can leave one reeling with a strong sense of gloom and doom, but all is not as it seems. As God so gloriously does when He inspires His creature’s words and faith, (in this case Moses’ Prayer words), the worthiest of treasures is soon illuminated. It seems there is to be a time for glorious achievement, if we would allow God to use our hastening demise to motivate our meaning. In addition, and not only in this Psalm, but evidenced by the many authors, life stories, and words in the Bible, we find God’s continued, and relentless pursuit of making a way for His created to be related to Him. His diligence is a magnetic exhibit beyond compare! His default mode is us- bound. His specific mode is us- bound. His eternal mode is us-bound. His minute mode is us-bound. We are the object of His affection, but because He is perfect and we are sticky with sin, Plan B was ushered in, along with Jesus, His son.
What other time treasures exist in these words?
First, we see by this Psalm that God is beyond time. Then, although God is greater than time, we are permitted to dwell and find refuge in Him for all generations. There’s an awesome opportunity in this option of being a mortal who is allowed to find refuge and dwelling with the Immortal!
“Lord You have been our dwelling place and our refuge in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed and given birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Verses 1-2
Not only may we dwell and find refuge with the One-Who-Supersedes-Time, He can teach us everything we need to know about time and how to use it.
“Teach us to number our days, so that we may get us a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
In addition it seems we can ask, in spite of our mortality and affliction, to be satisfied, rejoicing, and glad all our days. Is this really possible? To have time pass in such a way that we can be found completely satisfied, rejoicing and glad all our days? Moses asked for it. Why wouldn’t we ask for it?
“O satisfy us with Your mercy and loving-kindness in the morning (now, before we are older) that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad in proportion to the days in which You have afflicted us and to the years in which we have suffered evil.” Verse 14-15
Wow! No matter what the affliction, there is a possibility suggested in these words that is astounding, even oxymoronic. Let’s examine the request. First, we ask to be glad, satisfied, and able to genuinely rejoice over the mercies and loving-kindness of God, to the point that all our days are full of this “glad stuff”. Then we ask God to fill our days until they are ABOUNDING in this “glad stuff” to the degree and proportion of our day’s suffering and afflictions. It is obvious that such a request can only be filled using a mathematical formula of celestial proportion. These verses confirm we are going to experience suffering because of sin’s presence in the world, yet we are placed boundary-less in the realm of how much joy, satisfaction, and gladness we can ask God to evoke in us. This sounds like real gold to me!
The last two verses are placed together like a string of precious jewels.
“Let Your work (the signs of Your power) be revealed to Your servants, and Your glorious majesty to their children.” Verse 16
And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands—yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.” Verse 17
These words suggest, God’s work and majesty is to be revealed to our children and us. As far as our work is concerned, even in the midst of Plan B, God will establish and confirm the work of our hands as we give them over to Him.
Time—we all have it and we all fill it. Sometimes we have a tendency to look at how others fill their time and judge, but in the end, God is the only rightful judge. Psalm 90 indicates He finds favor in the things we do under His wisdom and direction. If we assume this attitude about our days, then we will have God’s help setting and filling our resolutions. It’s about time don’t you think?
My New Year’s prayer…
“Dear Heavenly Father, Keeper of all Time, God and Savior, Refuge and Dwelling Place, be my soul’s haven. Abound my gladness by Your mercies and loving-kindness. Teach me this year to keep time as You do. Amen.”