We were in prayer Monday night and as I began to go down the list in my mind of the people in church I began to realize we were a hurting group. My return home from Africa with double eyed virus was like being smacked with a two by four and it seems like each one of us could relate a similar sense of being slapped around. On top of this the long sought for converts had fallen to the wayside so there was a sense of futility on top of our own hurts. The next morning I was reading Ps 90 and at the end of the Psalm I came to our condition and our road to higher ground. It turned me around right away and I preached it to turn our entire church back to the “upward call”.
Ps 90:13-17 Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. 14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! 15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. 16 Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. 17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.
I. Where Shall We Go? The thought from Jn 6:66-69
“Return, O Lord! How Long?
Ps 6:2-4 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord — how long? 4 Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
Our state: we feel afflicted.
The Hebrew word is “anah”. It is not talking about physical affliction. It is talking about an affliction that a person would feel when someone who cares about them looks at them crossly. Rightly or wrongly because of our mental, emotional and spiritual state we sense that God is not looking kindly upon us thus we feel afflicted.
What are we hoping for at this low point? Compassion and mercy from God and an ability to rejoice.
We are desperately looking for compassion and mercy, and His lovingkindness will “crown” us.
II. We need to see Your hand at work, Your glory overshadowing and Your beauty.
To be reminded, this is God’s church. We need to see God working among us.
All of us from the youngest to the oldest need to see Your magnificence. Bigger than life.
Yes, it needs to feel right. The “beauty” of God upon us, in us and all around us. Delighting ourselves in the Lord. We are talking about a feeling of pleasantness and a knowledge that everything is going to be alright.
III. Let’s not forget the purpose of the church
From our Text: Ps 90:17 And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.
These are Deuteronomy words. They are words of the open hand of direction, flowing not pounding, they are words of poetry and beauty not frustration and cursing.
God sees us trudging through the dry time.
Keep tithing because the day will come when the “work of your hand” will bring spiritual food to the stranger, the fatherless, the widow and those who have no inheritance with God.
Isa 55:1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.
Deut 29:18 so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood;
For us we could all identify with that low spot described by the Psalmist. We could also embrace his steps out of that place. Finished with the warning about not turning to God at the down junctions of life and ending up full of bitterness towards life and God. It felt good in church during the service and afterwards.