(I wrote this a year ago, but emotions were raw at that time. It’s a little longer than most of my posts, but hang in there!)
In reading this Psalm, let’s first look at God:
- “Our dwelling place in all generations” – Whether or not we believe it or accept it, it doesn’t change that God and the world he created is our dwelling place. He created us with a spiritual dimension that longs for connection, passed down through all the generations.
- “Before the mountains…everlasting to everlasting” – Far more than we can comprehend, God has existed and will exist. Science can try to analyze the age of the earth or predict when global warming is going to destroy it (which goes against the science that “proves” evolution), but God goes beyond the earth.
- “You return man to dust…” – The truth is, we can’t comprehend death with our minds. But we do know the fact that we will turn to dust. If there is God out there, he is more than us.
- “For a thousand years…are but yesterday” – While we are so conscious of time, it doesn’t control God. He controls it.
Then, let’s look at man/our lives:
- “You sweep them away…like a dream” – I wonder what the total is of people whom God has loved but have rejected him? They were his dreams for fellowship, to walk in the garden with him. They had dreams that didn’t include him.
- “Like grass…in the morning…renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.” – I’m spending time, lately, with a friend who is “withering” – she had so much energy before, renewed daily by her dreams for the future, redemption for relationships, dreams for her kids. As this life is “withering,” she’s looking forward to her final healing.
- “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sin in the light of your presence.” – We all have them: secret sins. And they are all exposed in the “light of his presence,” even if we won’t turn and look at them ourselves. Either we will know that they are forgiven, or we will know that they are not.
- “We will bring our years to an end like a sigh.” That final breath, like a long exhale.
- Whether we are blessed with 80 years (or 40), “their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” We live with sin in our own lives, in the midst of an evil world. But evil and sin are not everlasting, like God and his character is.
- “Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?” We’re talking about the God of verses 1-2: the God of eternity, of creation, of our creation. The power that inspired the “big bang” demands fear (respect). It’s when we see sin and salvation from God’s perspective, and wrath is turned away.
- “How long?” And for those who have seen salvation, the question is “how long – how long do we have to live in this sinful world?” God, in his perspective, knows the answer, but remember, he has a different perspective of time than we do.
- “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” – Yes, we will always be time conscious. But let us be time conscious with God’s perspective of eternity, becoming more like him.
- “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days…” – His love produces the opposite of the “fear” of verse 11. It satisfies. It causes joy. It replaces years of affliction with gladness and purpose.
- “Let your work be shown…your power…” – As we get glimpses of the super natural in and around us, we can believe the incredible promises of eternity.
- “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!” – God’s favor means that all we toiled and labored over here on earth is not for naught; it has a purpose. It will be established.
As I said, I have a friend who is dying. Another friend went to her eternal home just weeks ago. They had God’s perspective on God/man/death. They knew how brief their lives were. They knew their sin. But they also knew God’s “steadfast love.” They knew the “favor of the Lord” as it was showered around them and brought meaning and purpose to their lives.
What more could we ask?
I’d love to hear your perspective on life and death or what I have written if you want to add it in the comments…