Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
As we come to the end of another year I turn to a Psalm to Psalm 90. In Scotland we have appreciated and loved the Psalms. We sing the Psalms regularly - as did Israel - and as Israel continues to sing the Psalms. God has not changed over the years.
The God Who heard the Psalmist's Prayers hears ours. What are you saying to our gracious God as this year draws to a close?
God's nature has not changed - and human nature has not changed.
So much is changing – governments – leaderships – fashions change regularly - but God looks at our inside - our heart - out mind.
We have not changed. Human nature is still selfish – sinful – warmongering .
Man continues to be so self-centred.
We are living in a difficult time, and that is why I turned to Psalm 90.
The Bible never goes out of date - it tells you about human nature and God's nature - and how the two can be brought together.
You ARE God - not were God - but You ARE God - and the God Moses worshipped is the same God we worship through Jesus Christ.
God made us to be men of God and women of God.
This is a Psalm of Moses – a prayer of Moses. Here is a man at the end of a tough life - a man of God in charge of two and a half million people. He is tired - feeling his age – but experienced.
Moses is the Leader of a nation - who is also a man of prayer.
Moses had been through many trials - as a baby he was rescued and preserved. He had the finest upbringing and education in Egypt.
He had to go off into the wilderness and be a shepherd – and after forty years he met God through the burning bush – and in that dry scenario Moses was called by God to undertake a very special work and ministry..
Moses led that nation of chosen people out of Egypt - across the Red Sea - and into the wilderness.
One thing Moses knew was that God was FAITHFUL – that is one vital aspect of God’s character.
KNOW that God is faithful - that Jesus Christ will never let you down. Jesus spoke about abiding in God - in order to produce fruit.
Verse 1 – You have been OUR dwelling place – for us that is ‘In Christ’ - and ‘in His Word’
Moses has seen God’s hand in his life – even in the challenging experiences he went through. We read of The Eternal Nature of God
Dwelling-place - can be translated REFUGE - HAVEN - HARBOUR. Coming to God is like coming home - Someone to turn to - that is how this Psalm opens.
Notice how these words are vertical – addressed to God.
We do not just call upon God in seasons of trouble and difficulty.
This is a remarkable description and assertion - that God can be and should be our dwelling place – for 40 years they had been wandering in the wilderness – and yet they have been in GOD – under judgment.
Human life is like dust - you blow dust away - that is how Moses describes it. It is like driftwood being swept away in a torrent of water.
Verses 3,4 – We are reminded of God’s Sovereignty.
There is an insecurity as well as a security – dust – it is GOD who does this – we do not do this – it is God who does this – God is sovereign.
We do not know where we will be next week - next month - next year.
Life is likened to a dream - we dream regularly - and soon it disappears.
Life is likened to a desert. The grass is so fresh and green in the morning - but under the fierce sun of the Middle East it can soon wither.
Men can quickly change from being so healthy and strong - and they are suddenly struck down. The Bible teaches us to value our health and strength.
If you can walk and talk - if you are well and strong and healthy - give thanks to God for that today. It is when our body no longer works that we may wish we had appreciated these days when everything was all right.
Verse 5 – Moses says – it is GOD who does this – our Sovereign gracious God. Grass is Sown - Grown - Blown - Mown - and gone. In the morning the grass looks so fresh and green – but it does not last all that long.
Before Creation - God was there - before the mountains were pushed up - from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
It was God Who created this world - and when He created it - it was good - very good - prefect - do not ignore the Creator God.
There was no death until sin appeared on the scene - how do those who believe in evolution cope with that scriptural fact - that is simply a spiritual truth. This is why faith in Jesus Christ is vital - crucially important.
Verses 7 to 12 – God’s severity - Our Iniquity before God - we are NOT fit to live for ever.
It took 40 years to go through the wilderness under the leadership of Moses and Aaron – it should have taken only a few months. The people had made wrong choices – they turned to making idols – and immorality – and GOD had to deal with them – it was God’s chastening Hand upon them.
Moses recognises the reality of this in prayer.
Verse 8 – God sets the sin of people before HIM – unconfessed sin – and man has to face the painful consequences – and these people lost four decades of their lives.
There is a failure to move forward in the will of God!
Verse 9 – They were struggling – limping along with a whimper or moan.
As we come to the end of another year – deal with what needs to be dealt with in your life. Read Psalm 90 – make sure that the Lord God Almighty is you dwelling place.
Remember how you came into the Church of Jesus Christ – Repent – Believe – having been Baptised in water – and having received the Holy Spirit. Take time – make time – to give thanks to God.
“Loving gracious God – our heavenly Father – we take time as another calendar year draws to a close to pause in prayer and bow in worship. We thank You for Your faithfulness and grace and love – we thank You for every provision and gift and blessing – Lord Jesus, help us to prepare for whatever lies ahead. Amen”
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Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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