A Prayer of Moses a man of God

1. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  2   Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

3   You turn man to destruction, and say “Return O children of men.”  4  For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.  5  You carry them away like a flood; they are like sheep in the morning they are like grass whichgrows up.  6  In the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers.  7  For we have been consumed by Your anger and by your wrath we have been dismayed.  8  You have placed our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.  9  For all our days have declined in Your fury; we have finished our years like a sigh.  10  As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away.  11  Who understands the power of your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?  12  So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

13  Do return, O Lord; how long will it be?  And be sorry for Your servants.  14  O satisfy us in the morning with Your loving kindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  15  Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, and the years we have seen evil.  16  Let Your work appear to Your servants and Your majesty to their children.  17  Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.

The following commentary is taken from Warren Wiersbe’s book, ‘BE EXULTANT’.

This is the oldest psalm in the Psalms, and was written by Moses, the man of God…..It deals with themes that begin with the fall of our first parents and will continue to be important and puzzling until the return of our Savior……How did Moses manage to become a “man of God” after forty years in pagan Egypt that ended in failure, forty years in Midian as a humble shepherd, and forty more leading a funeral march through the wilderness?  Life was not easy for Moses, but he triumphed, and in this psalm he shared his insights so that, we too, might have strength for the journey and end well.

We Are Travelers and God Is Our Home (vv. 1-2)……For all mortals, life is a pilgrimage from birth to death, and for believers, it is a journey from earth to heaven, but the road is not an easy one……For eighty years Moses had lived a somewhat settled life, first in Egypt and then in Midian, but after that he spent forty years in the wilderness, leading a nation of complaining former slaves who didn’t always want or appreciate his leadership.  Numbers 33 names forty-two different places Israel camped during their journey, but no matter where Moses lived, God was always his home.  He “lived in the Lord.”  He knew how to “abide in the Lord” and find strength, comfort, encouragement, and help for each day’s demands.  Moses pitched a special tent outside the camp, where he went to meet the Lord. (Ex. 33:7-11)……We must all make the Lord our dwelling(Ps 91:9)…..He described God giving  birth to the mountains (v.2).  To people in the ancient world, mountains symbolized that which was lasting and dependable, and to the Jews, mountains spoke of the everlasting God of Israel(Ps 93:1-2)……The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms(Deut. 33:27 AB).

We Are Learners and Life Is Our School (vv. 3-12).  Moses was  “educated in all the learning of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22 NASB), but the lessons he learned walking with God were far more important.  In the school of life (v.12), we need to learn two important lessons: Life is brief and passes swiftly (vv. 4-6), so make the most of it; and life is difficult and at times seems futile (vv. 7-11), but this is the only way to mature.  While we all thank God for modern science and the ministry of skilled medical personnel, we cannot successfully deny the reality of death or delay it when our time comes.  The school of life is preparation for eternity with God, and without Him, we cannot learn our lessons, pass our tests, and make progress from kindergarten to graduate school!  The older we get, the better we understand that life is brief and moves past very swiftly.  God dwells in eternity (Isa. 57:15) and is not limited by time……God is the one whose command turns us back (v. 3)……and we need to fear and honor Him and use our lives for His glory.

In verses 7-11, Moses reflected on Israel’s sad experience at Kaddish Barnea (Num. 13-14), when the nation refused to obey God and enter the Promised Land……God saw what Israel did, and God knew what Israel intended to do!  No secrets are hidden from Him.  The twenty-year-olds would be close to sixty when the nation returned to Kaddish Barnea, and Moses saw eighty years as the limit for humans.  He died at 120 and Joshua at 110, but King David was only seventy when he died.  Sin takes its toll on the human race, and we no longer have life spans like those in Genesis 5…… So now is the time to ask God for wisdom to be better students and stewards of our time and opportunities (v. 12)……A successful life is composed of successful days that honor the Lord……..

We Are Believers and the Future Is Our Friend (vv. 13-17).…..The past and present experiences of life prepare us for the future, and all of life prepares us for eternity.  When Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord, the future is your friend……When we begin the day and feed on His Word(Deut 8:3; Matt. 4:4), then we walk with Him throughout the day and enjoy His blessing.  The nourishment of the Word enables us to be faithful pilgrims and successful learners.  There are compensations in life that we may not appreciate until we enter eternity.  Moses prayed that God would give him and his people as much joy in the future as the sorrow they had experienced in the past……whatever the Lord doesn’t compensate for here on earth will be compensated in heaven(1 Peter 5:10), and this includes our works for Him……But no work done for the Lord will ever go unrewarded, and those who do the will of God abide forever (1 John 2:17).  Even a cup of cold water given in Jesus’ name will receive its reward ( Matt 10:42)….

Life is brief, so Moses prayed, “ Teach us.”  Life is difficult, and he prayed, “Satisfy us.” His work at times seems futile, so he prayed, “Establish the work of our hands.”  God answered those prayers for Moses, and He will answer them for us.  The future is your friend when Jesus is your Savior and Lord.

I wish all of you a very blessed day.

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