Psalm 90 The Eternality of God: Lesson Four
7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Thus far, in our series, we have found solace in the knowledge that God is our dwelling place and He never changes. Our last lesson showed us the sobering reality of what we face as humans whose lives are brief and fleeting. Thankfully, we serve a God who is everlasting and ordains all of our days! I hope you were challenged to think about where your security truly lies: in the sinking sand of temporal things or in the firm foundation of an eternal God.
In this lesson, we will answer the question, “Why do we die?” Even though we understand death is a reality for each of us, often times, we don’t fully comprehend the reason that death reigns. No mortal has ever escaped death. Even those who have claimed miraculous healings, or out of body experiences have all faced the same fate in the end. Even Jesus, as the God-man faced death.
BUT praise God, He was resurrected and lives again that we might have life in Him. This doesn’t mean we escape physical death but it does mean that, if we are believers, we face it in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, THEN shall come to pass the saying that is written:“Death is swallowed up in victory.”“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Jared Wilson states, “Dying is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Dying after you die is far worse.”
As we shift into v.7-10, the outlook for us gets even more grim. Hang in there, I promise that the series will end well! Remember when I said that God’s wounds us in order to heal us? His wounds are always faithful. And He never holds back truth from us. In this section, Moses is articulating our sin and guilt before the Lord.
Part of our fear of death is our fear of the unknown. However, part of the reason, is the knowledge of our guilt before the Lord. We know we are guilty and deserving of death. We know in the deep recesses of our heart that grace is not something we deserve and is counter to how we view justice, punishment, sin and death. We know that there are things we should have done and things we shouldn’t have done.
In writing verse 7, Moses understands that the sentence of death is right for sinners in the presence of a Holy God. Romans 6:23a states accurately, “the wages of sin is death.” Even though as believers God’s wrath toward us is satisfied in Christ our sentence in this life is the same - we still die under the curse that took place way back in Genesis, God’s universal punishment of sin declared in the garden.
And not only are we deserving of death but all that we do that makes us sinners, all of our sin is in full view of God. Which is what he says in verse 8. Nothing is hidden from Him. Our sins are ever before Him. Did you catch the adjective he uses for sin in the second part of the verse? He says, “secret” sins. Yes, even our secret sins are brought to light.
When I was younger, if I wanted to get away with something I usually attempted to hide under the cover of night. There is a reason they call them “Night clubs” instead of “Day clubs”. People lose their inhibitions when they assume they are hidden or cannot be seen by others. There is something about the night that encourages sin.
There are many passages of scripture that talk about deeds that are done in evil take place in darkness. However, scripture is also clear that NOTHING is hidden from the Lord, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17). So when your Mama said to you, like mine said to me, “I may not know but Jesus knows,” she was right! Bottom line: we know we are guilty. If there were no guilt there would be no fear. But guilt is real and therefore, fear persists.
Now that verses seven and eight have laid out the just cause for why we die, verses nine and ten declare our sentence: a brief, troublesome, hard life under the wrath of God that ends in death. Even if we live 70 or 80 years, which by most accounts is a long life, our days are toil and trouble and end quickly.
Like I said before, grim, very grim. We abide under the just wrath of a holy God, our sin is ever before Him and our sentence is swift and sure. If that was the end of the story I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. And the truth is, there are millions perhaps billions of people alive today that live with this as the end of their story! And if you are not in Christ, if you have not trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior, your story is the same. Beloved, we are not saved from Satan, we are saved by God from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9). Through the “good news”, the gospel, God has provided a way for sinners, and it is indeed good news!
The gospel is a message about us. We are all desperate sinners, born in sin and destined for a just punishment for our sin (Rom. 3:23; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 6:23). The gospel is a message about God. God’s righteousness requires payment for sin. Otherwise, He would not be just and He would not be good. The gospel is a message about Jesus. The Son of God who became man to die as payment to His Father for the sin of those who believe in His name (2 Cor. 5:21;Rom. 5:6-8). That is the gospel. It is for you and it is for me.
If you find yourself reading these lessons and the fear of death is not undergirded by the hope of your faith in Jesus Christ I pray that you will find that assurance today. “For the wages of sin IS death BUT the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23).