Psalm 90:1-2 ESV
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.
For those of us who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is our sanctuary, and we abide in him and he lives within us. Our strength and our support come from him. He is our reason for living, for existing, and our purpose for life is found in him, and in him alone. And, we are called to his purposes and for his glory.
We have turned away from our lives of sin, and we have turned our hearts and our minds towards him, to follow Him in his ways, according to his purposes, and for his praise. We have died with him to sin that we might live with him to righteousness. So, our minds are now set on what is holy, pure, righteous, good, honest, and moral, and no longer on what is evil.
Now we are placed within Christ’s body, his church, not only called of God to live for Christ and for his purposes, but also to live in opposition to what is evil, wicked and immoral – to reject evil and to cling to what is good. And, we are called to stand against all evil, and to daily be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, while putting on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes and his temptations, which are against us.
Psalm 90:3-8 ESV
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.
The picture the Lord is giving me this morning is that of humans who profess faith in Jesus Christ, but whose faith is human faith, and it is shallow (superficial) and temporary, and it easily fades away. They profess one thing, but they live another. They profess to be on the Lord’s side while they live in opposition to the Lord and in opposition to his righteousness.
So, what they are living is actually a lie. For, although they profess to be followers of Jesus, they are, in actuality, followers of the flesh. But, their following after the flesh is hidden from sight, for the most part. For, this is about secret sins which they hide from view while outwardly they will even fake righteous living to give the impression that they are following the Lord when they know that, behind closed doors, what they are doing is evil.
Many of them are copycats, performers and tricksters who study how to look and act like true followers of Christ, and even how to act as though they are opposed to evil, but it is a performance for an audience, but it is not who they truly are. And, in fact, many of them are secretly against Christ and are against his righteousness. So, these are like wolves in sheep’s clothing who have secretly slipped in among us to spy on our freedom in Christ Jesus.
They are those who masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness while inwardly they are liars and thieves whose goal it is to steal, kill and destroy the gospel of Jesus Christ and Christ’s messengers. So, it is like they fake entry into the kingdom of God in order to spy on those who are genuinely saved from their sins, but in order to use that against them.
And, they are secretly plotting evil against Jesus Christ, against his gospel and against his messengers. For, they are out to prove that the true gospel is a lie and that the fake (cheap grace) gospel is the truth; that the true gospel is unchristian and unloving, while the fake gospel is Christian and loving. And, they have been very successful, too, in convincing a large number of people to buy into their lies.
But, God is still God. He is still absolutely sovereign over all things, and over all powers and authorities on this earth. Nothing can thwart his purposes. No evil can exist but what he allows, and he allows for his purposes, and for a period of time, but not forever. So, nothing that goes on behind closed doors ever escapes his notice. And, there will be a day when all humans will have to stand before God and give an account for what they did in this life in relation to their response to God/Jesus Christ and to his will for their lives.
Psalm 90:12-17 ESV
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!
So, this is an encouragement to all of us, to everyone who lives on this earth, I believe, to number our days, to not take the life we have been gifted for granted, but that we might all get a heart of wisdom from God through faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
And, this is a prayer to God by his saints for encouragement and comfort from the Lord during these times of suffering, in particular, when we are being spied on, and when we are being accused falsely and attacked for our beliefs, and when we are being lied to and used and then betrayed by those who pretend to be our brothers and sisters in Christ but who are just using that as a way to gain our confidence so that they can use it against us.
And, it is a prayer, too, for God to minister his grace to our hearts, and for him to bless the ministries he has given to us who are his children and his servants and messengers. It is a prayer to God for him to strengthen and guide us in the work of the ministry to which we have each been appointed by God to serve him, and to bless the work he has given us to do, too.
For, our enemy is on the warpath against us, and he is out to destroy us and the gospel and the work of the Lord that he is doing through the lives of his servants who are doing his bidding. So, this is a prayer for mercy, for grace to meet us in our time of need, for help, for encouragement, for counsel, and for empowerment from on high to overcome the evil coming against us and for God’s truth and his righteousness to prevail.
The scriptures teach that God’s word will not return empty, but it will accomplish the purposes for which it has been sent. So, we must rest in that, that even though we are being opposed, that God’s word will prevail, and that he is going to use it in people’s lives to bring them to Jesus.
Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
Hymn lyrics by Isaac Watts, pub.1707
ref. by Ralph E. Hudson, 1885
Music by Ralph E. Hudson, 1885
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away
’Tis all that I can do.
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
*copyright status in Public Domain
Friday, June 7, 2019