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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

PSALM 90

 
Tetons
 
Oh, how I love this Psalm, perhaps because it turns our world upside down with a little of the perspective from God's point of view.  I don't know much about photography, but isn't there something (before digital pictures) where inside that little camera, the image is turned upside down?  That's how this Psalm is, but when God's involved, it is beautiful snapshot.

 
"Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were born,
Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting,
Thou art God.
Thou dost turn man back into dust,
And so to say, 'Return, O children of men.'
For a thousand years in Thy sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.
Thou hast swept them away like a flood,
they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.
In the morning it flourishes, and sprouts anew;,
Toward evening it fades, and withers away."

 
Why would this Psalm be a comfort to me?  Because it is a way of saying we can be at home in the Lord, no matter how, when, what, or where.  He is my dwelling place, my hiding place for eternity, from dust to dust and beyond.  This can be translated, "Our resting-place, Refuge, and Defence...  Thy mercy has been lengthened out from generation to generation."  As for the mountains, they were "brought forth out of the womb of eternity, there was a time when they were not; from the eternity that is past, before time began;--to the eternity that is after, when time shall have an end." (Adam Clarke: all quotes are from him)  Hmm.  Eternity is where time ends.  What a thought!
 
After an earthquake in Italy.

 
Though we are dust, just as the first man Adam was created out of dust and because of his wrong choices, death entered the world, we will return to dust.  But that is only the beginning when we are brought forth with the breath of God to breathe the air of eternity, when "Thou wilt say, 'Return ye children of Adam.'  This appears to be a clear and strong promise of the resurrection of the human body, after it has slept, mingled with the dust of the earth."

"For a thousand years in Thy sight"

 
"For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it,
it is no more."
Psalm 103:14-16

We count dogs in dog years, God counts humans in human years known only to Him.
"As if he had said, 'Though the resurrection of the body may be a thousand (or any indefinite number of) years distant; yet, when these are past, they are but as yesterday, or a single watch of the night. (three hours)"  Blink.  Just as our children and grandchildren grow up in a blink of the eye, time has past quickly from God's perspective.  "They pass through the mind in a moment, and appear no longer in their duration than the time required by the mind of the eye, they are nothing when compared with the eternity of God!"




 Life is short.  People have a multitude of death denying, death defying ways to live.  From our sudden need in our society to go to the gym, run the marathon, use certain cosmetics, swallow certain supplements, have face lifts and other plastic procedures, we idealize youth.  My friend just posted a saying, "When we run alone it's called a race, but with God it is called grace."  Can we just embrace wherever we are on our journey with the hope of eternity set before us?


 
"Life is compared to a stream, ever gliding away; but sometimes it is as a mighty torrent, when by reason of plague, famine, or war, thousands are swept away daily.  In particular cases, it is a rapid stream, when the young are suddenly carried off by consumptions, fevers, etc.; this is the flower that flourisheth in the morning, and in the evening is cut down and withered.  The whole of life is like a sleep, or as a dream.  The eternal world is real; all here is either shadowy or representative.  On the whole, life is represented as a stream; --youth, as morning;--decline of life or old age, as evening; --death, as sleep; --and the resurrection, as the return of the flowers in spring." 

 
 
 

 
I especially like Adam Clarke's words, life is like a dream, while the eternal world is real.  Isn't that upside down from how we think?  We should spend the whole of our life grasping this rather than the straws in an effort to slow down our being swept along in the fast moving stream of this life.  In fact, haven't some of those dear to you gone on before arriving in eternity and are waiting for you?  Have you ever been tubing or rafting? (We even went dirt-bagging down the Rogue River on rafts like inflatable mattresses that were filled with dirt rather than air--and yes, they floated.)  Sometimes it is leisurely, sometimes it speeds us along enough to realize the mighty river is in control.  Sometimes you might even be swept into the reeds or cattails, and must extradite yourself in order to float past.  This life is just a dream.  What is real is eternity, the life we are being swept away to.  I know, I know, I may be just in the leisurely, enjoyable part while swift water is ahead and fear might yet stab in the depths of my stomach.  Yet, I hope I never doubt that God is in control, not me, no matter how swift, how turbulent the river of life becomes.
 
Psalm 90 will go on in my next post.  (I can't believe I've come this far in the Psalms and am having to relearn my Roman Numerals like XC. since Adam Clarke uses them in his commentary written in the 1700's.)





 

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