Every now and then, each of us needs to sit back and look at our life in its entirety. How long or how short is it? What is it like? What is it for? Today’s passage wrestles with these issues.
ICE-BREAKERS QUESTIONS: Imagine yourself reaching a ripe age—how old would you like to be? What would you like to achieve by such time? Then read the passage. This is a prayer of Moses.
II. BIBLE READING
Psalm 90:1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn men back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.” 4 For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning— 6 though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered. 7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. 8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. 10 The length of our days is seventy years– or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. 11 Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 13 Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. 16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands. (NIV)
James 4:13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (NIV)
A. The Shortness Of Our Life (Psalm 90:1-6)
- In vv. 1-2, how did the Psalmist view God?
- In vv. 3-6, how did the Psalmist view the life of man?
- What does each description mean? Compared with the Psalmist, how do you view your life? Share your impressions on life? How should we live then, knowing that our life is so short?
B. Effects Of Sin In Our Short Life (Psalm 90:7-12)
In the previous section, we realize how short our life is. But even in this short span, our life seems to be full of problems and sorrows. Let us try to find our why.
- What is the cause of these problems and sorrows?
- In vv. 9-11, what are the effects of sin in our life?
- In this section we have seen how life is full of problems and sorrow. But is life really so meaningless? Lets us see what God’s children can look forward to in the next section.
C. Our Life Becomes Meaningful (Psalm 90: 13-17)
- Being aware of how short our life is and what it consists of, what do we have to look forward to?
- How does God’s love affect us? (vv. 14, 15) How do you start your day? Expectantly waiting to see what God will unfold for you, or do you start every morning with a heavy heart?
D. Our Life In God’s Hand (James 4:13-17)
- What is the main thought in this passage?
- Most of us have some idea of how old we think we might live. How old do you think you would live? (Relate this to answers before start of discussion.) What is your basis of thinking you will live long? In the light of this passage, how sound is your assumption that you’ll live that long? What does it mean to live on “borrowed time”? Give examples.
- How should this thought affect us on a day-to-day basis?
- REFLECTION: How does today’s study affect my perspective on life?
- Write a personal letter to God on how you propose to use your life in the borrowed time that He has given you.
Our life is very short. Just like a weed that grows in the morning and wilts in the evening. And even in such a short life, there is the problem of sin, which cause our life to consists of trouble and sorrow. But God is merciful, and fills our life with His forgiveness and love. Let us thank God for each day that He gives us, and be accountable to Him for it.