Partnering with the Sovereign God

The fact of God’s sovereignty does not require a resigned acceptance of difficulties as being the will of God.

Moses begins Psalm 90 saying he is at home with the eternal God who, knowing his secret faults, brings all he does to nothing. Seems fair; who am I before the Holy and Sovereign God? Moses however switches tack to make a series of appeals asking God to intervene with His love, joy and favour.

Moses knows the Lord’s searching gaze and welcomes the discovery that he is nothing. It is only when the Lord fills his life with love, joy, power and favour that it means anything. Knowing this, Moses asks the Lord to ‘establish the work of our hands.’ I wonder if the ‘our’ refers to the hands of Moses and the Lord. Then the second part of the psalm is an appeal for partnership with the Lord who will establish what they do together.

So, there is not a resigned acceptance that gets on with failure and difficulties, nor are we resigned to accepting that what we do will fade away.  If we live with the Lord in partnership He establishes what humanly should wither away. This process is not based on our giving more effort; it starts and ends with prayer. He is our home; He is the one who works in a person surrendered to Him in a partnership of prayer. Therefore we have hope.

 

Thoughts kicked off by Brueggemann ‘The message of the Psalms’

 

 

 

 

Cannot rest?

Do I find it hard to rest because I have hardened my heart? We live in a generation that cannot rest but always looks for the next adventure or the next entertainment. Our culture is restless and we as Christians are influenced by it. Psalm 95 speaking of the people of Israel during the Exodus ends, ‘So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”’ The Lord sometimes denies access to rest. This begs the question of our culture.

Why did God make this declaration? Backing up, God was angry because their hearts went astray and they had not known His ways. This is a characteristic of restlessness. When our hearts are captivated by surrounding distractions we have no space to focus on God and come to know His ways.

Going further back the Lord talks of a time in the desert when the people, lacking water, turned on Moses. Understandable maybe, but God’s verdict was that having experienced Him it was time to apply what they had seen and trust Him.  Instead, the people hardened their hearts. This was a crucial moment that ultimately led to restless wandering in the desert. So, have I hardened my heart? I don’t know but it is worth asking God to show me if I have!

The people of Israel were excluded from rest for a period: forty years. Maybe our gracious Father will draw us back into His rest? Maybe this is something to pray for the Church?