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1365. Living With An Eternal Perspective

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
October 21, 2022 7:00 pm

1365. Living With An Eternal Perspective

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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October 21, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a chapel series entitled “Encountering God,” with a message from Psalm 90.

The post 1365. Living With An Eternal Perspective appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.

The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything so he established daily chapel services. Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from The University Chapel platform. Today on The Daily Platform, Dr. Steve Pettit, President of Bob Jones University, is continuing a study series entitled Encountering God, which is a study of select chapters in the book of Psalms. Today's message is from Psalm 90, written by Moses, and the heading in our Bible says, A Prayer of Moses, the Man of God.

Today, Steve will teach us how to live with a biblical perspective. Would you please take your Bibles and turn with me to Psalm chapter 90 this morning. Psalm 90, we are doing a series here this semester entitled Encountering God, and the great early church father Augustine said that he read the Psalms every day because it always oriented, always aligned his spiritual and his moral nature back towards God. And today we're going to look at a very interesting Psalm. My title is called Living with an Eternal Perspective, and I'm going to read beginning in verse one. I won't read all the entire Psalm, but a few verses that I'd like us to take notice as we read, and then we'll work through the Psalm as quickly as possible. Verse one, Lord thou has been our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth or ever, thou has formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction and sayest, return ye children of men. Now drop down to verse 12. So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Return Oh Lord, how long? And let it repent thee concerning thy servants. Oh, satisfy us early with thy mercy that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou has afflicted us and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let that work appear unto thy servants and by glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us and establish thou the work of our hands upon us.

Yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. If you look at the Psalm 90 title, you look underneath it, it says a prayer of Moses, the man of God. That is telling us who wrote this Psalm. Psalm 90 was authored by Moses. And Moses lived about 400 years before King David and King David lived in 1000 BC.

So that makes this Psalm to be the oldest of all the 150 Psalms. And Moses is the first composer of a sacred hymn. And in the title of Psalm 90, Moses is called the man of God. Six times in the Old Testament, Moses is called the man of God.

Why? Why would they call him that? And the answer is because he's the one that stood between God and the children of Israel, interceding for them and praying for them and invoking God's blessing on them. He was their mediator, like Jesus is our mediator. And so therefore he was called the man of God.

And I think it's fair to say that a true man of God is always distinguished as a man of prayer. That he is interceding for those on the behalf of God. And so in Psalm chapter 90, Moses is praying for the children of Israel and he is praying for them to learn an important lesson.

And what is the lesson? Well, it's something that Moses had learned through his experience of being in the wilderness. You can divide up Moses's life in three sections 40 years each.

His first 40 years, second 40 years, last 40 years. First 40 years he lived in Egypt, was educated in Egypt, and when he finished those 40 years he came out saying, I'm somebody. Well God said, I can't use you. So he sent him on the backside of the desert for the next 40 years tending sheep and after 40 years of being in the desert in the wilderness at the age of 80 years old he came out saying, I'm a nobody. And God said, well I can use you now. And so for the next 40 years he led the children of Israel through the wilderness and the entire time he realized he was nothing and God is everything.

I'm a nobody, I'm a somebody, God is everything. And Moses learned that in the wilderness. And that trip that when he brought them out of Egypt to go to the land of Canaan should have only taken them a few days. But instead it took him 40 years.

And why is that? Because God judged the Jewish people for their unbelief. And the lesson that Moses learned during this time and what he wants you and I to learn from this Psalm is that we are to live our lives purposefully in light of eternity. We are to live our lives purposefully in the light of eternity.

Jonathan Edwards prayed it this way, Lord stamp eternity on my eyeballs. So Psalm 90 is written to give us an eternal perspective on our very short and temporary life. And Moses sets forth for us his perspective with three life-altering truths that we need to learn.

What are those lessons that we need to learn? Number one, God is eternal. Look at what he says in verse 1, Lord you have been our dwelling place in all generations before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou has formed the earth and the world even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. The Psalm begins with the unfathomable truth that God existed in eternity past. That God creates everything that exists in the world today and that God will continue to exist long after this world is gone.

Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou has formed the earth and the world even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. Only God is eternally constant. By way of contrast, Moses and the children of Israel lived in a permanent state of flux.

Nothing was consistent. The only consistent things that they really had in their lives for 40 years were two things. Number one, they packed up their tents to move to the next location and they attended a whole bunch of funerals because every adult 20 years and over who came out of the land of Egypt died in the wilderness with two exceptions Caleb and Joshua. And during this period of constant instability for 40 years, what did Moses learn?

He couldn't get away from it. He learned that what gave him a sense of stability, if I could say it this way, a sense of feeling at home was the presence of God dwelling among them. Look at what he says, Lord, thou has been our dwelling place in all generations.

Everywhere they went, right in the middle of the camp was the presence of God in a tent called the tabernacle where the presence of the Lord dwelt and the holy of holies. And he said this is what is my rest spot. This is where I feel comfortable. This is where I feel at home.

Let me ask you a question. In an ever-changing world that's always in flux, always unstable and insecure, where do you feel at rest? For 29 years my family and I traveled across the country living in a fifth wheel trailer. We lived in every imaginable church parking lot you could ever conceive in your mind. We were connoisseurs of fine church parking lots. And many, many times I would stand in a truck stop on Saturdays filling up my tank in our truck, moving from one church to the next church and have this overwhelming feeling of instability. I didn't have a home to live in. The home was the trailer. But I learned something after traveling for 29 years that I could feel at home anywhere if I have one thing with me. And you know what that is? This book. And it didn't matter what the church parking lot looked like.

It didn't matter what part of the country we're in. Every morning when I got up I could read my Bible and spend time with God. And it was in that place that I had a dwelling place in the Lord. You will never feel stable and secure until the Lord is your dwelling place. So the first thing that they learned is that God is eternal. Notice the second thing that they learn and that is that we or man is temporal. Moses portrays the sobering reality of the frailty and the finiteness of our own existence in four things he stated.

Number one, he said our destiny is humble. Look at what he says in verse three, thou turnest man to destruction and sayest return ye the children, ye children of men. Some have suggested that the background for Psalm 90 historically were the events that took place in Numbers chapter 20. What happened in Numbers chapter 20? Moses's sister Miriam died. Moses's brother Aaron died. And Moses sinned against God by striking the rock so that he could not enter into the promised land.

He would die before he would ever get into the land. The whole chapter was about dying. And Moses learned that you have to live your life in view of eternity. Everybody here is going to face God's judgment. Everybody here is under the judgment of God.

You know what that judgment is? It's called death. Everybody's going to die.

Rich and poor, famous and obscure, intellectual and illiterate, humanitarian and criminal. All of us are going to end up decomposing six feet under the ground. Death is the great equalizer. We read in Genesis 3, in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return unto the ground. For out of it was thou taken, for thus thou art, and unto thus shalt thou return. Man's original composition was dirt.

Man's final destination is dirt. And the best description about our lives is that we are dirt. That's what Genesis is saying. That our destiny is humble. But then secondly, he says, our lifespan is brief. Look at verse 4. He says, for a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past and is a watch in the night. Moses contrasts God's perspective on time with the human viewpoint on time. And everything in God's eyes is either smaller in size or shorter in time. For example, God sees the population of the nations as a drop in a bucket.

Listen to Isaiah 40, 15. Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket. Can you imagine that? Take the population of the United States, 330 million people, and take an eye drop or put a little water in it and squeeze it.

One drop falls out and hits the floor and it hits a bucket. That's the whole nation to God. Similarly, in God's eyes, 1,000 years are like a day that has already passed by. You know, when you're young, time moves slow, especially in English class.

When you're waiting for spring break, it can't get here fast enough. But in reality, time moves at warp speed. Our lifespan is brief. And then he says our death is swift. Life always ends suddenly.

No matter how old somebody gets, when they die, it's always surprising, it's always shocking, and it's always sad. And Moses uses three natural images to depict how quickly death comes to us. Notice what he says in verse 5. Thou carriest them away as with a flood. The first image is that death is like a sudden flood. In the land of Israel, one of the most dangerous threats to human life is a flash flood and what is called a dry riverbed, they call a wadi. And many, many times, and you can read the news in Israel, hikers are down in a wadi, and suddenly the water comes and they don't know it's coming because it can be raining on the mountains and they can be out in the desert and not know it. And suddenly they're washed away.

Death is like a sudden flood. Then notice he said life is like a dream while you're asleep. He says they are as asleep.

You understand this. When you're sleeping, you have all kinds of dreams. And when you're in the middle of a dream, it seems so real, doesn't it? And we can be so totally engaged in the fantasy of the dream. It's like it's happening until suddenly we wake up. We realize we were having a dream and the crazy thing is that though the dream seems so real, we can't even remember it after we wake up. Well, life is like a dream. You're born.

You live, you die, and people don't remember that you ever lived. How many of you know the name of your grandparents? Raise your hand. How many of you know the name of your great grandparents?

Raise your hand. How many of you know the name of your great, great grandparents? See, you guys are losers. I mean, come on, you don't know their names. You don't know who they are. You don't know anything about their history.

You don't know what they did. Well, if that's true of your family, what about the rest of people? And then notice thirdly, he says, we're like a grass that grows in the Judean wilderness. He said in the morning, they are like grass which grows up. In the morning, it flourishes and grows up. In the evening, it is cut down and it withers. During the winter rains in Israel, a very light covering of grass quickly pops up on the Judean hills.

It's pretty cool. However, the lifespan of the grass is short. When the Middle Eastern sun hits the grass, it quickly withers under the heat. Spurgeon said, here is the history of the grass.

Sown, grown, blown, mown, and gone. And the history of man is not much more. He says to us that life is like this dream. Our death is swift.

And then notice he says our judgment is just. We get what we deserve. The Jewish people received first-hand experience of God's judgment in the wilderness.

They got it. The whole generation was buried in the desert sand because of their sin. And what did they learn? They learned nobody gets away with sin.

Nobody in this room gets away with sin. How do we know that? Because we're all going to die. Look at what he says in verse seven, for we are consumed by thy anger and by their wrath. We are troubled. Thou has set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath. We spend our years as a tale that is told. I don't know how many times my wife and I have crawled in the bed at night here at Bob Jones University and say, well, here we are again.

One more day has passed by and we're going to go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow. Our life is like a tale that is told. And the Lord never allowed the children of Israel to forget their sins. He reminded them every day through the multiple funerals that they were under the judgment of God. And then notice he mentions the length of their lives.

Verse 10. Your days, the days of our years are three score and 10. A score is 20, three score is 60 plus 10. That's 70 years. And if by reason of strength, they be four score years, that's 80.

What is he saying? He's saying simply our lifespan is 70 years up to 80. Let's say, let's say we all live to be 80. Okay.

All right. And let's say your life is like a gas tank. And when you're born, you get a full tank. Or right now, just about every one of you sitting in this room have three quarters of a tank. That's what you got left in your life. You know how much I got? I'm under a quarter. And if I live to 70, I got four years left to live.

Four. And what is the scripture telling us? The scripture is telling us that time is not a commodity to waste. We only have so much.

Once it's gone, you can't get it back. Therefore, we need to make decisions in light of eternity. Come on, man.

Some of you need to wake up. You think you're going to live forever? You think you always have opportunities before you?

No. Make the most of your time now. Now's the time to get saved. Behold, today is a favorable time.

Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but now. Today is the day to dedicate your life to God. I used to walk by the chapel at the Citadel every single day and etched in granite were these words from Ecclesiastes 12.1, remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth. And I remember reading that at 19 years old thinking, Lord, I need to remember you now.

Are you living for God now? Come on, wake up. Poke the person next to you and tell them wake up.

You think I'm kidding? You're going to die, man. Take stock of your time. Devote yourself to God now.

Don't waste an hour, but invest your time now. This is what Moses is saying. This is what Psalm 90 is all about. And then finally, the last thing he tells us here that he learned, and that is that prayer is essential. In verse three, he says God calls man to return to him. In verse 13, the Psalmist calls on God to return to man.

Our necessary response to the brevity of life is to cry out to God, oh Lord. And notice what he prayed for. He said he prayed for mercy. God's people had suffered for a long time under God's chastening hand. Moses wondered aloud how long would it continue?

God had made a covenant with his people through Abraham and David, a covenant backed by God's own faithfulness and love. And Moses prayed for God to return back to his people. He says satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love. Oh Lord, show us mercy. That's what we should be praying.

God have mercy on us. And then he said, pray for joy. Verse 15, make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us and as for as many years as we have seen evil. Do you realize that restored joy is a sign of restored fellowship? You always have to balance judgment with joy.

You don't want to preach gloom and doom all the time. I mean, the reality is we're going to die, but also there's a joy in the Lord. I remember as a young Christian going to church and singing songs that were like super exciting. I don't know if you've ever sung these songs like I'm Dwelling in Beulah Land. How many have ever sung I'm Dwelling in Beulah Land?

Praise God. Man, I remember, and I didn't grow up in that kind of an atmosphere. And I remember listening to people sing and they were busting it out as loud as they could sing.

Not holding back. We used to have a song leader. His name was Chuck Crabtree. He was five foot, four and a half. He weighed 185 pounds and he bench pressed at the age of 55 years old.

He bench pressed over 400 pounds. When he led singing, he looked like a fire plug. You know what I'm saying? And he was like this. And it's old school, okay? But he would jump around and we would sing, Master, the tempest is raging.

The billows are flowing high. And he'd get us singing. And I remember just the joy we had in the presence of the Lord. Pray for mercy. Pray for joy. And then finally pray for blessing. Would you look at what he says in verse 16?

I want to finish with this. 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 thou the work of our hands. All the generation that came out of Egypt never got into the land of Canaan. They all died. Everybody 20 years old and younger or who were born in the wilderness all went into the promised land. That was the Joshua generation. There is a tendency among the older generation to doubt the younger generation. In this chapter it's quite clear that the generation that was to be doubted was the older generation and the younger generation were blessed to the Lord.

I think we should pray for God to do a greater work in your generation than God could ever accomplish in ours. The only reason I'm in the work that I'm doing here, the only reason, people say what is the best you like about Bob Jones? And be honest with you, I like everything here. I like everything. I even like the dining common.

I like everything. But I'm going to tell you right now, the only reason I'm here, and I tell everybody this, the only reason I'm here is you. Because that's what he says here. He is saying in your glorious power to their children, my hope and prayer is that you will see in your generation the mighty power of God. And that's why prayer is essential. And Moses saw it and he learned it and he prayed that we would learn it. Father, thank you for your word. We pray for your blessing on this generation. Let your work be shown to your servants and your glorious power to their children. We pray in Jesus' name.

Amen. You've been listening to a sermon from Dr. Steve Pettit, President of Bob Jones University from the study series, Encountering God, which is a study from the book of Psalms. I'm Steve Pettit, President of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. If you're looking for a regionally accredited Christian liberal arts university, I invite you to consider BJU, which is purposely designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning, loving, and leading. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit bju.edu or call 800-252-6363. These daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and this radio ministry. If you appreciate these programs and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word, would you consider sending us a special financial gift today? You can easily do that through the website thedailyplatform.com and then click on the give button on the home page. We'd also love to hear about how this program is helping your Christian walk. Please send us your feedback using the contact button at the bottom of the website thedailyplatform.com or you can call us at 800-252-6363. We hope you'll join us again next week as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-14 05:15:02 / 2022-11-14 05:25:14 / 10

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