Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
A man went to see his doctor for an annual checkup and received a phone call from his doctor a couple of days later. I’m afraid I have some bad news for you, said the doctor. What’s the news? the man asked. Well, you have only 48 hours to live.
That is bad news! said the shocked patient. I’m afraid I have even worse news, the doctor continued. What could be worse than what you’ve already told me? the patient stammered. I’ve been trying to call you since yesterday.
We may find this amusing—but nonetheless, to me, it sends a message about time: How much time do we have on this planet earth—how many years have we been allocated?
Our Days Are Limited
That’s not a message that any of us want to hear but I think we need to remember that our time here is limited. Our days may seem endless, but they’re not. As you get older, you realise that fairly quickly. One of the wisest things we can do is sometimes remind ourselves that we are not God, and to live in light of this perspective.
But we each want to have some significance in this life—we want it to count. A glance at many of our magazines and self-help books reminds us that our worth and meaning will be found once we finally capture the elusive prize of wealth, fame, or similar significance. But once we get one of those, we still feel empty inside.
I want to say that the Old Testament can help us, especially if we look at Psalm 90. Because this wonderful Word from God asks us to consider two things, and then tells us to take two actions. How sad it is to know that many don’t read the Bible, or take its message seriously. I hope you do.
This Psalm is possibly the oldest writing we have, and has 17 verses and was written by Moses. It was written in the wilderness during the 40 years that Israel was wandering in the dessert. Some two or three million people left Egypt; a whole generation of people had to die as they made that 40-year trek. There would have been constant funerals. In the middle of this, Moses reflects on two realities that were true then, and they’re just as true today. Don’t accept the talk that the Bible is old-fashioned and has lost its relevance. Not so.
God Is Eternal
In Psalm 90, it says very simply that God is eternal. Verses 1 and 2 say: “ Lord, through all the generations, you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.” Here is Moses looking back over the course of human history and declaring that God is great because he is the God of history.
Moses had seen the Pharaohs live and die. Perhaps he had often crossed the Nile River and gone over to that Valley of the Kings—which tourists now visit—where the tombs of the Pharaohs are located; and there he had noted the many who through past history had died and been laid to rest.
God exists from everlasting to everlasting, with no beginning and no end.
Yet, despite the passing centuries, there is no change in the relationship of man to God. He has been the home of man for all the generations of history. We can go to museums and see old Egyptian exhibitions, and marvel how old they are—some over 4,000 years old. We think Moses was old—but he helps us get another perspective: He was saying: Before Egypt, before there were any mountains, before there was even an earth, God was God.
God has no beginning. He was God before the mountains were brought forth. He is God from everlasting to everlasting, with no beginning and no end. God exists from eternity and to eternity.