Daniel Lawson, Pastor for Faith Baptist Church
By the time this article is printed the year will be 2020. Our old calendars will be thrown away, or at least on their way out soon. Many will collect a new set of goals, and I imagine, a great deal of us will reflect on the twists and turns of 2019. New Year’s is not a Christian holiday like Christmas or Easter, yet it is right for those of the faith to take a moment to pause, reflect, and set goals.
In Psalm 90:2 Moses asks the Lord to, “teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” This verse is often treated as a sort of proverb reduced to, “life is short, so live life wisely.” There is truth to this, yet the context of Psalm 90 provides more than a request of cautious tiptoeing. The phrase “to number our days” is a reminder we have few days on this earth. Psalm 39:4 forwardly comments, “let me know how transient I am.” We read the same sentiment in Psalm 89:48: “What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?” What Moses reminds us in Psalm 90 is our frailty and God’s eternality. “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Ps. 90:2).
Now allow me to hold your attention for a moment longer. My aim is not to usher in 2020 with the dismal statement: “We are all going to die!” What I hope to leave you with is the hope of God’s sovereign power over all things, and our security found in His faithfulness. This year many of us will make goals. I believe such a task honors God. Moving with intentionality throughout life is a sign of good stewardship. But what happens if we fail? What if we place all of our hope in what we can accomplish and then life interrupts our plans? I do not believe all hope is lost. No, the True and Living God of the Bible holds all things in His hands.
Moses knew at great length what it felt like to feel let down. Because of Israel’s stubbornness and lack of faith, they were left to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years. Even in those 40 years Israel was not always faithful to the Lord. Moses himself is not permitted entrance into Israel’s promised land because of his lack of self control. Being a man who knew the sting of failure he writes in Psalm 90:16-17, “Let Your work appear to Your servants
and Your majesty to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.”
My encouragement for the New Year is this: Though our days are few, the God who created and sustains all things loves those who find rescue in Him. He is from everlasting to everlasting. And those who serve Him find beauty in what He has done. May all the goals that are tacked to your list be ones where God is glorified.
In Christ by His Grace,
Pastor Daniel Lawson