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Psalm of Moses

Sermon Series:

Honest To Goodness

Aaron Lewis
Aaron Lewis

Wayland Campus Pastor

Peace Church Wayland

Main Passage:
Psalm 90


Well, hey, good morning, Peace Church. Hope you're all doing well. I'm excited to dive into God's Word here this morning with all of you. And we have some work to do this morning. For those of you who were here last week, as Pastor Ryan went through a lament, just to kind of, so we can all prepare emotionally, just let you know this is another lament that we'll be hitting. And so, hopefully, it'll end with great hope. You know, if I'm doing my job right, we'll end with some great hope and we'll leave encouraged. But if you will, go ahead and open your Bibles to Psalm 90. And I'm gonna kind of deal with this chunk by chunk as we go throughout the message But we're going to read the first couple verses here as we prepare our hearts.

So this is from this is a psalm of Moses and this is the oldest psalm we have on Record and so again lament psalm of Moses, oldest Psalm. Let's see what Moses had to say here. Starting in verse one, Psalm 90. We're gonna go through verse two. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Let's pray. Heavenly Father we thank you for your word. We thank you for your spirit to be present with us as we dive into your word. I pray Lord that as I preach Psalm 90 that your spirit would give me the words, the accurate words to say, and anything that's not accurate or you would not have communicated, Lord, I pray that you would keep me from speaking. Father, I pray for all those who are hearing your word. I pray that your spirit would take the word and place it upon the lives of those who need to be shaped and molded into the image of your son, and that as a result of coming into contact with Psalm 90 today, we would leave this place looking more and smelling more like Jesus than we did walking in. So Father, we thank you. It's in Christ's name we pray, amen.

All right, so let's get to work here this morning. I wanna start off by asking you guys if you know someone like this. Maybe picture him or her in your mind's eye, but I wonder if you've ever come across someone where their reaction or response to a particular set of circumstances or scenario is not in line with a common human response to those situations or those scenarios. Like chaos is all around them and yet they're calm. Their life seems to be falling apart and yet they're hopeful. And we look at them and I know if you're like me you're thinking one of two things. One, they may be a sociopath. Or two, they have an honest to goodness real faith that should be emulated by Christians, by people who believe that God is in control like the Bible says that he is. And so for us, as we're looking out and we're seeing all of the chaos and we're seeing these individual people just stick out as honest to goodness Christians that we should be emulating.

Now, kind of keep that in your mind, we'll kind of return to that, but I want to set the stage for us diving into Psalm 90 by just bringing to light the fact that we here in America, America so much of our lives are inundated or Influenced by our surroundings our setting and our culture and I think whether we are aware of it or not Again, we here in America and please hear me on this. I am from Wayland, Michigan. I'm a patriot I served in our military. I love this country and yet I am a dual citizen and my primary allegiance is to the kingdom of God. And so as I kind of as we look at America and we kind of dissect our culture a little bit I just I want to lay upon us this idea that in America we have a very real culture of the immediate. Instant gratification. Right now. That I want it, and I want it now. And I can't tell you because when I think about this, I'm typically thinking of those out there. Not me. I mean, I'm patient. My daughters will tell you otherwise, but I'm patient. And yet, when I pull out my smartphone and I click a link and it takes longer than.02 seconds for the webpage to pull up, I'm out of there. I'm not waiting.02 seconds to read what you want me to read. Get out of here. And so this instant gratification, this I want it, I want it now, this culture of the immediate has infiltrated my life. And you know, I'm not even talking about just like clicking on web pages. I'm talking about like, I won't buy anything from Amazon unless it's a minimum two day shipping. Anything in the world. I'm not buying it unless it's at my door in less than two days. Crazy.

You know, I don't, I don't meal plan because I don't know what I'm going to want when I want it in the moment that I want it. That may or may not be a contentious topic in our house. I could go on and on about all of these things. I think our culture has done an incredible job focusing our, our culture has done an incredible job focusing us on the immediate. I think fast food drive-thrus were only the first step, only the beginning. Even now, same day delivery is happening, Amazon busting out the drones. And I can't imagine the day when I won't order anything unless it's at my house in less than an hour. It's coming. There are companies right now that you go to work and you get paid by the day because waiting seven days is too long. And so that's happening right now. And we look at this and we think the mediate, the mediate, the mediate. And so I don't want to sound un-American here, but I do want to put on center stage the ways of Jesus, because we are as Jesus people, as followers of Jesus, as Christians, we are to be holy. The Scriptures tell us that we are to be set apart and distinct from the world and the best that I can tell is that we here in the church are just as concerned with today as the world is outside these walls. We too are driven by the immediate and we've lost our eternal perspective and we're focused on the immediate, this anxiety kind of builds within us because we're focusing on what's right in front of us and it can move and change and switch any minute. And when we're focused on it, this anxiety kind of comes from within with this low-grade sense of sadness that's just always there. And so we're looking at this I focus on the immediate this anxiety and the hope of nothing change, but it is gonna change I just don't know when it's gonna change and we're sad and it's just always there all the time present focused on the immediate And we go to God with this stuff we cry out to God with this Like Lord, why is there not more joy or happiness in my life? We cry out to Him with this stuff. Some of us, you're in a place where you're like, I just, I want to feel something. You came here hoping that God just breaks through to allow you to feel something, anything, then other than what you're feeling. And then there's others, you're on this other side where you're like, God, please just take these feelings away. These feelings are crushing me.

And we're focused on the immediate, that which is right in front of us. And Pastor Ryan, last week, he kind of walked us through what a lament is. And that's what these crying out to God is. When we cry out our honest, our real emotions, and we cry out to God and we're honest with what we're feeling and what we're thinking and what we're believing, it's called a lament. And so here we're looking at Moses' lament, Psalm 90. And the context here is that Moses, and Moses is the guy in the Bible who went back to challenge Pharaoh to release the Israel people from Egyptian captivity. So Moses went back and he did all the things with Pharaoh and then they come out and this is a group of people. They experience slavery, they experience liberation. Then they're running for their lives and they come up to the Red Sea and the Red Sea is parted and They walk through and they start Wandering the wilderness right and then so they're wandering the wilderness and man has fallen from the sky and there's all these signs and wonders And God does all these miraculous things and yet because of their faithlessness They can't enter the promised land with the exception of two people. Two people, Caleb and Joshua, enter the promised land.

But right here, in this moment, most theologians believe that the Israel people are on the verge of the promised land. Like, and I kind of picture this. Like Moses, he's kind of up high and he sees the Jordan River and on the other side of the Jordan River is the Promised Land. So not only can those who experience liberation from Egypt not enter the Promised Land, but Moses, because of his disobedience and his rebellion, cannot enter the Promised Land. And so in this moment he's standing there, he sees the Promised Land, the Jordan River's there, he's looking at the Promised Land and he sees the place he will not enter. And he's standing here. And a commentary mentions that while it's not specifically stated that there's good evidence that the people that Moses loved most began dying. And so we have Moses almost like at the end of his life, writing, looking out at what could have been, feeling the weight of all of this. With the people that He loves most beginning to pass away. And I tell you, for those of you who have experienced death too soon in your life, you understand that there is nothing that will take our eyes off the immediate, like somebody we love passing away too soon. And we begin to take a step back and we're like, what does it mean to have an eternal perspective? What does it mean to have an eternal perspective? And so the question is this, how can we have a correct perspective? How can we experience peace and joy in the midst of chaos? How can we be one of those honest to goodness Christians that stands out like the man or woman that you know whose reaction doesn't match their circumstances. And that brings us to our main point for today.

Our main point is that an honest to goodness faith is a faith that experiences today while focused on eternity.

Experiences today while focusing on eternity three ways I believe from Psalm 90 one by having a correct view of God to by having a correct view of man and then three by having a correct response to the gospel a correct response to the gospel.

1. Experiences today while focusing on eternity by having a correct view of God

Verse 1-2

So let's dive in here. Well, verses 1 and 2, but also point 1, we experience today while focusing on eternity by having a correct view of God. Verse 1 and 2, it says, Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Moses said, or ever you had form the earth and the world from everlasting to everlasting. You are God. See Moses begins this lament in the same way that the lament Pastor Ryan had last week with an understanding of exactly who God is. And so Moses is stating who God is in relation to him, in relation to the people of Israel. See, God was Israel's sanctuary for protection, for sustenance, for stability. And Moses says, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. See, God's nature is without beginning and is without end. It's entirely free from all succession of time. In fact, he is the very cause of time itself. "'Before the mountains were brought forth,' Moses said, "'before you have formed the earth, "'you have always existed, God. "'You've always just been God.'" And there's a sense of power here, a sense of awe, a sense of immovability.

See, God is not moved towards action by the immediate. He is not persuaded by the unforeseen events of today. For a thousand years are but as of yesterday, verse 4 tells us. Many, I think many in our culture, they don't like the God of the Bible so they attempt to remake God into something else. Something that affirms their culturally approved actions? Or maybe they remake him into something that agrees with them and what they feel in their version of the world? See, and rather than man being created out of the image of God, we create God out of the image of man. But to remake God in our own image is an incredibly difficult and exhausting endeavor. Not only do we, if we make God out of our image, not only do we need to be consistently evaluating our current cultural context to make foundational changes to our entire belief system, but our entire theological framework also consists of the changing whims of the culture. But, but, we become, when we remake God out of our own image, we become responsible for the things that God is responsible for. Things like our protection, things like our sustenance, things like our stability. Those are God's responsibility. And when we don't see God clearly, when we remake him in our own image, we become responsible for the things that only God can provide us.

See, Moses begins with a reminder. You have been our dwelling place in all generations, he says. And contrary to popular belief, sometimes, sometimes we just need God to be God. We just need Him to be who He is. See, and parents, like, we get this, do we not? My daughters love it when I give in and give them what they want. They love it. But me, as their dad, I get to look out over the landscape of their lives. I get to see possible dangers that lie ahead. I get to see destructive behaviors and patterns that lie out ahead. And if I, if I am altered, or if I alter what I give them based upon what, based upon their tantrum that they throw, if I throw in the How awful of a dad would I be? When I willingly give them something that I know would lead to destruction, how awful of a father would I be? See, we have a heavenly Father who is and always was, from everlasting to everlasting. You are not powerful enough to sway his love for you. Can't do it.

The fit that you throw does nothing to deter his pursuit of you. He will not pull his protection. He will not leave you when you need him most. And he will always be there when you fall because he is a good dad. He looks out over the landscape of your life and we can trust him with that. Doesn't mean we're always gonna like it, no. My wife can tell you some of the the fits that I've thrown. And thank God, he's a strong enough dad to not be persuaded by my tantrums. See, this interaction here, it reminds me of Moses's interaction with God at the burning bush. See, Moses lived in the desert after he left Egypt. And God came to him and told him, you need to go tell Pharaoh to let my people go. And so here we have Moses, there's this bush that's on fire, that's not being consumed. And Moses is like, there's something weird going on here as this burning bush is speaking to me. And so Moses is like, all right, I'll go tell Pharaoh to let your people go. And maybe when Pharaoh maybe wants to know like who is sending me, what is the name that I give him? And so, and I love this because what God says is, he says, tell him this, tell him, I am that I am. What? I am that I am. And I was thinking about this, preparing for this message. And it just kind of came into my mind. I was thinking about often when my daughters, when they're asking for something or they want something or they do something and they're like, why can't I, as I explain it and they don't understand. And I'm like, well, that doesn't make sense. Why this, why that, why that? And then I get to this point and I'm like, because I'm the dad. That's why, because I'm the dad, I am who I am. And I'm an authority over you. And that's all you need to know. And that's what God is saying here to the authority over Pharaoh that's the kind of power in the kind of all of our Heavenly Father I am that I am and thank God that he is who he is and he is undeterred by our tantrums so in honest and honest to goodness faith a faith that experiences today while focused on eternity has a correct view of God. A God that no matter the circumstances, God is a God no matter the circumstances, no matter the pressures, no matter the opposition. Our God is a dwelling place for His people all throughout generations, both before you arrived on the scene and long after you've gone to glory. God is God.

2. We experience today while focusing on eternity by having a correct view of man

Number two, we experience today while focusing on eternity by having a correct view of man, having a correct view of man. You return dust to dust. You return man to dust and say, return, oh, children of man, for a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep them away as with a flood. They are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning. In the morning it flourishes and is renewed. In the evening it fades and it withers. For we have brought to an end, we are brought to an end by your anger. By your wrath, we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days pass away under your wrath. We bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are 70, or even by reason of strength 80, yet their span is but of toil and trouble. They are soon gone and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger and your wrath according to the fear of you? See, remember, this is a song of lament and there is some creative license present here but we see Moses visit this claim. Humanity lives under a sovereign decree of death because of sin and we cannot escape it. You return man to dust. You return man to dust.

This is the judgment on humanity for sin found in Genesis 3 19 Genesis 3 19 says this by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground for out of it you were taking for you are dust and to dust. I think this is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in Romans eight when he talks about how the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. This is not simply a dust and then return to dust, but there's a whole process of returning to dust that Moses is talking about here. And we see this, you return man to dust, and Moses wrote Genesis and he also wrote Psalm 90 that we're talking about. And so the same person wrote these two verses, and yet the word that we translate to dust, Moses uses two different words to describe dust and so in Psalm 90 the the Hebrew word that we translate to dust here is sometimes used or translated as destruction and You'll see why here in a second so.

The Hebrew word for dust Genesis 3 9 is all far all far and this is a noun This is clay earth mud powder and this is a noun. This is clay, earth, mud, powder. This is the sustenance that makes up the world. The sustenance that all creative order is created from. But the Hebrew word for dust in Psalm 90, as Deacol, this is an adjective. And this means to be crushed into powder. To be crushed into powder. So it has this picture, whereas dust in Genesis three is just the dust that exists. The dust in Psalm 90 is the process, it's the descriptor of the dust. This means that the dust isn't just simply dust, but it's dust that has been shaved off because of the sin in our lives. I'm remaking our barn in the back, and it's not like a legit country barn, it's in the city of Wayland barn.

And I'm putting up drywall It's a country barn, it's in the city of Wayland Barn. And I'm putting up drywall and I'm making it a hangout space for my daughters. And so I've never used drywall before. I am not what you would call a handyman. I am just somebody who watches YouTube videos and then tries it. And so that's what I'm doing. And so I get these drywall pieces and I start cutting the drywall. And at first, I didn't know that you just take a box cutter and like slide it down and that mug just splits right in half. I was actually using a saw at first. And the amount of dust everywhere was overwhelming from sawing these drywall pieces in half. And that's the kind of dust that Psalm 90 is referring to. From the areas of our lives or from our experiences or circumstances that tend to see us in half because of the sin that has infiltrated the world. That dust, not the dust from which the ground we were created. It's more painful dust, more painful dust. And we all, we understand what this means, do we not? This is the human experience. Who in here doesn't have dust lying around them from being betrayed by somebody you trusted? Who in here doesn't have dust lying down from a set of circumstances that almost crushed you?

Who in here doesn't have dust that surrounds them because of your own choices and betrayal of yourself. All of us do. And this is an incredible, incredibly painful accumulation of dust. See, in all this, it points to the frailty of man. We have very little control. Here today, gone tomorrow, Moses says. And if that's not depressing enough, now we have Moses actually, he turns up the lamenting here Turns it up for we are brought to an end by your anger by your wrath. We are dismayed You have set our iniquities before you our secret sins in the light of your presence For all our days pass away under your wrath. We bring our years to an end like a sigh. So not only are we incredibly fragile, but we are far more sinful than we actually acknowledge. See, Moses makes a powerful claim here for we are brought to an end by your anger. And he's talking about sin because God hates sin. He never thinks it's okay. And Moses continues. He says, you have set our iniquities before you. These are our open, our active, sinful actions that nobody would say is not sinful. Those things that are just clearly sinful, the lying, the stealing, the adultery, the gossip. Moses says that you set my sin before you and then when we think it couldn't get any worse, he actually says, and our secret sins are set before you. How awful could this get? So the secret sins, it has two ideas here. One is those sins in our lives that we know are clearly sin that we will never tell anyone about in our lives. And the sin in our lives that's so insidious, we don't even see it as sin in our lives. So the point here, the point here is that there is no getting around the fact that we are incredibly sinful, incredibly sinful. And so in light to God's power and control and authority, seeing ourselves clearly in the light of that perfection is one way that I think the Apostle Paul understood exactly who he was. He said this in first Timothy, because of God's greatness in our sinfulness, Paul understood exactly who he was saying. And I love that he even said like, this is a trustworthy saying and deserving of full acceptance. It's almost like if pastor Ryan got up here and was telling us how sinful he was. And we're like, no, no, no, no, you're not that bad, dude. No, like pastor Ryan comes up here. It's like, no, this is real. This is true. And so that's that's the Apostle Paul. He says that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason that in me as the foremost Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. See the Apostle Paul understood exactly who he was and who he was was so painful to look at, so sinful to see, so dirty to clean up, that it actually drove his eyes off of himself, off of the immediate, up into the heavens on eternity because he couldn't bear to see what it looked like out here. That's what the Apostle Paul understood and he experienced today in the midst of his life while keeping his eyes focused on Eternity and it was his own sinfulness as the chief among all sinners that the appalled that drove Apostle Paul's eyes off of himself.

See Hebrews 12 verses 1 and 2 Says therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us set aside every weight and sin, which clings so closely and let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, eyes off of ourselves, looking to Jesus, the author or founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. An honest to goodness faith, a faith that experiences today while focusing on eternity does so because of a correct view of man, a view that accurately and rightly places oneself as the chief of all sinners in their personal view.

3. Experience today while focusing on eternity by having a correct response to the gospel

Point number three. Says we experience today while focusing on eternity by having a correct response to the gospel. By having a correct response to the gospel.

Verse 13

So verse 12, verse 13 says this, so teach us to number our days, Moses said. So in light of God's greatness and perfection and awesomeness and our sinfulness and dirtiness, teach us to number our days. And then he says return Oh Lord How long have pity on us and come back? Life is hard come back and what Moses is doing here is he's giving us a practical picture of patience of waiting Moses said considering the greatness in our sinful condition In the fact that our simple condition is far worse than we know while we wait with eager expectation, return, return. While we wait, we will live in the present as we plead. Return, oh Lord, return. Return, oh Lord, return.

And for Christians today, the apostle Paul does a great job of fleshing this out, this period of patience out, this period of waiting, because Paul understood something that Moses didn't have access to. We have the New Testament, right? And so what the apostle Paul says is like, in this tension that we feel in our lives to where we lament, much like Moses, we see the grandeur of God and how majestic he is, and yet we're like, return, return, and we live in this kind of this tension-filled space that will never get resolved, he has what we call an already not yet theological construct. And so the Apostle Paul, he says we are already saved but not yet saved. We are already adopted, not yet adopted. We are already redeemed, not yet redeemed. We are already sanctified, not yet sanctified. We are already raised with Christ, but not yet raised with Christ. And we feel this, don't we? We feel this tension. And so for us, in honest to goodness faith, a correct response to the gospel is understanding that while we are already saved, it's not yet to its fullness and completeness until Christ's return on the cross, or his death on the cross and his return to restore all things new. So an honest to goodness faith, a faith that experiences today while focusing on eternity, does so because we trust that God will, in time, in his time, save, adopt, redeem, sanctify and raise us as the scriptures say he will. And then real quick, I just wanna give you, and you guys can check this out, verses 12 through 17. These are prayers. So what do we do in the meantime, while we're waiting in this tension-filled space? Well, I think Moses gives us five prayers to pray. And so we look at, from verse 12, teach us to number our days so that we may gain wisdom. Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad. Make us glad for the days that you've given us. Help us to see your work and your power on display. Give us favor and establish the work of our hands. See an honest to goodness faith is a faith that experiences today while focused on eternity. Will you stand and join me in praying for these things?

Heavenly Father, I thank you for your word. I thank you, Lord, for the example of Moses, crying out in lament with honest and real emotion. And, Father, I thank you for how he taught us and what things to pray for as we wait, as we live in today and focused on eternity. Lord, I pray that you would teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. I pray that you would satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love. I pray, Lord, that you would make us glad for the days that you've given us here on earth and that we would see your work and your power on display. And Lord, we ask for favor. We ask that you would establish the And Lord, we ask for favor. We ask that you would establish the work of our hands. And it's in Christ's name that we pray. Amen.

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