“Lord, you have been our dwelling-place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2)
I wonder with what expectations you begin this year?
It can be exciting to anticipate happy events, but the year ahead might also fill you with dread, realising the challenges to come.
All anniversaries (such as New Year) are moments for reflection on who we are and, most importantly, who God is and where our hopes lie.
As 2018 begins, I have been reflecting on Psalm 90 – the prayer of Moses:
He realises that God is eternal: “from everlasting to everlasting to everlasting you are God”. He is awesomely beyond our reach, imagination and understanding, especially in his eternal nature. We cannot conceive what this is like but we stand back and worship him as God.
Moses realises too that we are mortal: “we return to dust”. Life is short and uncertain: “our days quickly pass”, always with the shadow of death over us. Worse still, humanity lives under the constant, intense anger of God against our sin: “all our days are under your wrath”.
And yet this is such a hopeful prayer; Moses expects that God will be his “dwelling place”. He asks for help to serve with joy and to know God’s favour on his work. This, of course, is only possible because of the grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ. These are fundamental characteristics of God that Moses experienced as he saw something of his glory on the mountain.
And by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we can know deliverance from the wrath of God and have an invitation to participate in the life that never ends with him who is the only source of life.
So, as we begin 2018, let us worship God for who he is – the everlasting God. Let us recognise our mortality and dependence on his grace; and with that in mind might, we pray fervently for God to give us life and growth in our Christian walk, our churches and our ministries.
Make use of every moment as we realise our time is short, and may we all know the favour of the Lord to establish the work of our hands for us. For as long as we live, may we “sing for joy and be glad” (Psalm 90: 14).
We wish you a very Happy New Year.
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