Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
We now have the wonderful opportunity to set some priorities that we want to focus on as the Lord gives us strength in the coming days of this dawning new year. It is a time to give thanks to God for His faithfulness shown to us in the past year, and to recognize the real gift that each day is for us to serve Him and please Him in all we do. We pray and ask for wisdom from above, knowing that apart from Him we can do nothing. In everything, it is good for the Christian to be intentional and single-minded as we seek the glory of God in all things.
It is a wonderful truth of Scripture that our God is a God Who hears the prayers of His people and that, as we ask according to His will, He delights to answer in ways that far exceed our greatest desires. Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses to such a God! Most commentators agree that this psalm was penned by Moses upon the occasion of the sentence passed upon Israel in the wilderness for their unbelief, murmuring and rebellion. The account is recorded for us in Numbers 14. If you read the whole psalm you can see the character of Moses, this “man of God.” He begins with God and he ends with God, and throughout there is a clear recognition of who he is (and the people) and Who HE is. It is a prayer that seeks the mercy of God; it is a prayer that recognizes the satisfaction of His unfailing love. It is a prayer that looks back and a prayer that looks forward to that time when God will answer and “make them glad” (v. 15). Above all, it is a prayer that exalts God and desires that His deeds be shown to that generation and every one to follow (v. 16). And it is a prayer of new beginnings!
The psalm confronts us all with a basic question about what we truly desire: what is it that you want more than anything else this New Year? Is it that God would grant to you a heart of wisdom? Is it that you be satisfied in His unfailing love (instead of what the world offers)? Is it that God would be glorified in and through you and those after you? Is it that His favor would rest upon you (and us as a church) and that He would establish the work of your (our) hands? According to this psalm, these are the things we should most desire; although, at times, I struggle to want them more than the pleasures of this world. The daily struggle we all face is one of priorities and determining what is most important to us in any given moment. Too often we aimlessly wander through our days without a sense of purpose, being carried along by the urgent demands of the moment. This psalm calls us to approach life differently with an aim to please and glorify the God Who has called us and given us all things for life and godliness in Christ. May the Lord grant that you and I seek after that which will last — a heart of wisdom and works established by God for His glory alone!
This week we will gather together around the Table of our Lord and celebrate Communion in obedience to His command — “do this in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor. 11:24, 25) We will continue to feed upon Him spiritually through this meal until He returns in power and glory. Paul also reminds us that we are to examine ourselves, each one before the Lord, before eating of the bread and drinking of the cup. Let me encourage you again, as it is our practice, to examine yourselves before coming to the Table. Come before the Lord knowing that He hears you and is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Such is our Father in heaven.
May God grant to each of us this “heart of wisdom” that Moses prayed for and may it be the true desire of our hearts this New Year.
In our Father’s loving hands,
Pastor Ted Trefsgar