Today – Psalm 95

For he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture
and the sheep of his hand.

if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on the at Massah in the wilderness. (7-8)

What a contrast! Sheep munching in pasture or hard hearts wandering in a wilderness.

We have a choice to make.

It’s not “if” he is God – he is God. We can claim science and believe theories, but that does not negate his existence. 

And it’s not “if” he is only the God of the universe – he is our God. He created us with a God awareness, a spirit, other animals do not have. He created us in his image.

And it’s not “if” we are the people of his pasture. He created earth, a beautiful pasture, for us to live in. It wasn’t our choice to be born on earth. He choose us and set us in an amazing location that fits our needs, our desires.

And it’s not “if” we are the his sheep, of his hand. He not only placed us here, but he holds us here. It’s so very personal. His hand guides, touches us, caresses us, protects us, is all around us.

The choice is “today.”

Today, how am I going to respond to his presence, to what he has given us, where he has placed us, is holding us in his personal and tender presence?

Today, if I hear his voice, how am I going to respond? When I see nature, the ruby red tomato on my tomato plant, am I going to take credit for its brilliance? Am I going to say it got here by evolution?

Today, am I going to harden my heart to the possibility that there is a God? Am I going to harden my heart and refuse to believe he is a personal God? 

The writer of Hebrews pondered the same questions of “Today,” repeating it 3 times (3:7, 15, 4:7). He wanted to make it clear that we have a choice on how we live. And if we don’t respond to all God is and gives to us, we will wander in our minds, hearts and spirits. We will not enter into the state of rest God desires for us.

I need rest from my own wanderings…

Legacy – Psalm 90

Another word I listen for in reading Psalms is “generations.” Maybe it’s because of my cancer, but women especially have a sense of building character and truth into their children, trusting that goodness, godliness, will go on through their lives.

But men also have a sense of legacy. Often it is in the area of providing for their family. They desire to build empires, or at least possessions, an inheritance to give to their children. They desire to teach their children how to provide for themselves and their families, how to be successful.

Psalms 90 starts out with…

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Days come and days go, each one building on the last, each one uniquely its own. But the Lord is consistent in his character each day. He is our dwelling place, the place we come home to, rest in, rely on. He’s not just home for us, but for all our generations.

I think that’s important to teach our children, that God isn’t who we visit on Sundays, but God is who we rest in daily. 

God is home.

I remember when one of our children wandered from the Lord. They wanted to figure out for themselves where they wanted to place their faith. When we would get together for lunch occasionally, I would ask, “How are you and the Lord doing?”

After months of “Oh, Mom…” replies and getting pushed away, I was surprised one day with a “I really miss him…”

He was missed as a dwelling place, a home, where there was rest, rejuvenation, strength.

Anyway, that was a rabbit trail – what I really wanted to talk about is the last verse…

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!

There is longing in all of us that what we do will last beyond ourselves; that all the mothering we do will go on in our children’s character; that the firm financial base we build will not be wasted.

So much of what we do doesn’t last. The dishes get dirty. Bills come due. We work and then do it again the next day. Stock markets come and go. Cars break down. People die.

The hope of life is that something will last; something will matter. Maybe it will be our reputation others will remember. Maybe it will be memories our grandchildren have. Maybe it will be something we have written. Maybe it will be something we handmade, or something our children were able to buy, because we gave it to them. 

We’re powerless to make things endure. We are powerless to influence how people remember us once we are gone. 

We only have today.

So we pray to the Lord to make this day meaningful, memorable, to truly “establish the work of our hands.”