Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God.
You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
Yet You sweep people away in the sleep of death – they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.
We are consumed by Your anger and terrified by Your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
All our days pass away under Your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. – Psalm 90:1-9
Psalm 90 is the reading that I use during a funeral. I read this as the body is wheeled out of the church, after the service.
When you think of this Psalm, think of a football game. The game is in the fourth quarter and the two-minute warning has been announced. This is the most important part of the game because the winning team can put away the game or the losing team can make up points.
However, with life, we do not know when the two-minute warning will come. Therefore, we must make serving God a constant part of our life. Only God knows when our time will expire.
This Psalm, a song of Moses, is a prayer for mercy. Here, we are reminded of God’s creation. God created us and every moment of our lives depends upon Him.
The author, Moses, affirms that God existed before the world was created. Yes, the world has a beginning, but God does not.
He reminds us that we came from dust and we will return to dust. It does not matter who we are or how well we think of ourselves. We may be thought of very highly in this world of woe and sin. However, to God, we are nothing but dust to which we will return.
In this world, our lives are controlled by time and the measurement of time. However, to God, the way He measures time is quite different. Time is insignificant to God. He is eternal.
Unlike God, our frail bodies have an expiry date. When we consider a thousand years, it may seem like an exceptionally long time, but to God, it is like yesterday.
He sweeps the years away and time passes. Every day depends totally upon God. The world does not operate independent of God. Years go by, and years come; they seem to pass quickly.
We are reminded that we should stay close to God because compared to God, our lives are short. Even though time is somewhat insignificant to God, to us, they are extremely important. God is concerned about us individually and the way we spend our time here on earth.
The author laments about the anger of God particularly after the Israelites rebelled against God in the wilderness. Because of their mistrust in God about entering the Promised Land, they wandered in the wilderness.
Moses acknowledges that God was just in His anger with the people. Their rebelling deserved God’s punishment. However, unlike the people in the wilderness, God gave us Christ.
Even though, like the children of Israel, we continue to rebel against God, we can find forgiveness in Christ. We need Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
Unlike the two-minute clock, we do not get any warnings. Our time here on earth passes away under God’s judgement because we are constantly sinning or rebelling against God.
But we do have a Savior. We can turn to Him for grace and mercy to save us. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: email@example.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.