Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Verse - Psalm 90:16-17

Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!

Psalm 90:16-17

On Sunday Luke and I had the privilege of seeing two people from our church get baptised. We were even blessed enough that there was a spot-o-sun for the occasion, although of course with an ample supply of wind.

One of the sisters getting baptised read out Psalm 90, as it was a Psalm that had really helped her in her conversion. She read it in Italian (being Italian herself, not because she was suddenly given the gift of tongues), and I was curious to read what it said in English. 

The verses above really struck a cord with me today, so I thought I would share them with you. Maybe it's because I've been thinking about work a lot and how to glorify God in the workplace, what with trying to get back into the whole 8-5 thing after summer holidays. We have also been discussing relevant topics in theology class, where we've been reading John Piper's book "Don't Waste Your Life".

As a Christian, the work that we do is work for God, and this is the work Moses (the author of this psalm) is asking God to bless. However, before we can even begin to do work for God, He must work on us first. As Bible commentator Matthew Henry writes:

"God’s servants cannot work for him unless he work upon them, and work in them both to will and to do; and then we may hope the operations of God’s providence will be apparent for us when the operations of his grace are apparent upon us."

Though we were once dead in our trespasses and sins, it is because God resurrected us through the power of the Holy Spirit that His work can be, as Moses says, "...shown to your servants," and His "...glorious power to their children."

Interestingly, John Macarthur believes this psalm was written as the older generation of Israelites who had left Egypt were dying off in the wilderness (Num. 14) and they were now looking to their children who would inherit the land. 

However, I think this is also a prayer which can be prayed by all parents: that they would know more of the Lord and their children would see God's glory. 

Furthermore, I think verse 17 is a petition that we should continually pray: that God would help us in our work, whether this be our ministry to our friends and family or our physical work. That HE would establish pretty much everything we do. As Matthew Henry rightly says:

"We are so unworthy of divine assistance, and yet so utterly insufficient to bring any thing to pass without it, that we have need to be earnest for it and to repeat the request: Yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it, and, in order to that, establish us in it."

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