May 1, 2015
No Dress Rehearsals
By Skip Heitzig
How much longer will you live? It might be a day, a year, twenty years, or more, but you just don't know. You get one shot at life, and then it's over. And when it is over, what will people say about you?
Psalm 90 is the prayer of "Moses the man of God" (Psalm 90 subtitle), who understood the brevity of life and asked God for wisdom to live in the light of this truth. Most scholars believe he wrote it after the events of Numbers 20, where a series of blows shook him to the core: the death of Miriam, Aaron, and his dream of entering the Promised Land. With these things in his mind, he incorporated three main themes into Psalm 90: the eternity of God, the frailty of man, and the priorities of a man or woman of God.
Psalm 90:1-2 describes the eternity of God: He has been God in every generation, "from everlasting to everlasting" (v. 2). He is also the Creator—He existed before everything. Moses had a very high view of God; he had the proper perspective. His God created the heavens and the earth. His God was eternal from generation to generation.
In verses five and six, we see the frailty of man. What is life like? Grass, the Bible says. In the Middle East, it's not uncommon for it to rain one evening and for green grass to spring up the next day. But by the afternoon, the grass is brown and dead because the sun comes out and scorches it. We grow up, we live a short period of time, and then life is over. We are temporal and frail; God is eternal.
Finally, in Psalm 90:12-17, Moses laid out the priorities of a man or woman of God. Number one: life is short, so make it count. I find it interesting that in verse 12, Moses asked the Lord to "teach us to number our days" (emphasis added)—smaller chunks rather than larger chunks. How do you do this? First of all, recognize life is short. Remember that you're just passing through. Next, take life in smaller chunks: not months, not years, but days. Ask yourself, "How am I doing today?" Finally, when you get up in the morning, immediately commit your day to God: "Lord, You're the boss. I've got plans, but do what You want. My day is Yours."
Second priority: God's love is available, so make it real. Verse 14 in the NIV says, "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love." Moses believed God loved the children of Israel, but if you had asked him, he might have said, "I'm not sure they always know that. I'm not sure they're always satisfied by God's love." It's one thing for God to love you; it's another thing to know it. Jude 1:21 says, "Keep yourselves in the love of God." Isn't that an interesting commandment? Perhaps some of you aren't quite sure God loves you, or you might just theologically believe God loves you. Know that God's love for you is real, even though you may not always see it.
The third priority of a person of God is: make God's work your work (see vv. 16-17). You're on this earth because God wants you to perform some task or ministry to point others to Jesus Christ. If God's plan was to put a smile on your face, give you warm fuzzies, and take you to heaven, then you would've dropped dead the moment you received Christ. The fact that you haven't yet gone to heaven is because God wants you to bring others with you. He has a task for you to complete.
Remember, you get one crack at life, then it's over. No warm-ups. No dress rehearsals. Have you counted your days? How do you want to be remembered? As a man or woman of God? If your God is the God of Moses, the God described in Psalm 90, then you can't lose.
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