Welcome to the Welling. This is for your spiritual health, your well-being, and your overflowing. Today, we finish out our meditation of Psalm 90, this unbelievably important psalm in an atmosphere of danger and disease and mortality.
We’re going to be focusing on the last verse. But for those who’ve been following the series, you know there’s a case that Moses, the author of the psalm, builds. That God is eternal. Humanity is mortal. We can embrace the eternal, and we can engage in the eternal of this life.
Now comes the general summary of the whole psalm. In covering all of us, inviting us to pray, what the psalmist prays for is something that you and I, after the cross, have already experienced. He says, Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us. And do confirm for us the work of our hands. Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
In the middle of 2020, when everything seemed so dark–the curtain has not yet lifted–I went into our boardroom at RREACH, and I saw a verse that the previous meeting had left open for us. They had written on the white board this beautiful verse in handwriting. There was not a single person around the table who did not wish this for ourselves, Moses’ prayer, “Let the favor of the Lord be upon us, and do confirm for us the work of our hands. Yes, confirm the work of our hands.”
I wanted to preserve this in picture format. It’ll probably be with us for the rest of our lives. A prayer that seeks the Lord’s blessing. “Let the favor of the Lord be upon us” is a good word. But it’s colorless, says a commentator, because the word “favor” has different dimensions.
The beauty dimension, that the work we do is beautiful for God. It has a delightful dimension, that what we do is delightful to God. It has the dimension of meaningfulness, that there will be a meaningfulness in the work we do, whatever work we do. And finally a fruitfulness that will bear fruit. That’s what the psalmist is praying.
Fortunately for us, this word “favor,” “grace,” in the Old Testament, it’s already ours through the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been blessed and favored by the Lord God Almighty. Notice “Lord our God,” there. We are already experiencing it. We’re being blessed with every spiritual blessing. We have embraced the eternal, and we are engaged in the eternal because the eternal God has embraced us and given us some engagement in His eternal work.
“Let the favor of the Lord.” One commentator actually talks about it being a theophany, that an internal sense that God has given us a particular work for us to do, in whichever platform that He has opened for you. A lane in which you must run. But in that favor, he prays, God, please confirm the work of our hands. Because God likes you. He affirms you and approves you and accepts you. He also assists you.
The word, “confirm the work of our hands.” It’s a good prayer.
The Lord our God, He can confirm the works of your hands. It has three dimensions to it. One, enable the work of our hands. Unless He enables the work of our hands, it can’t get done. Isn’t that the great declaration of Philippians 4:13? I can do, work, “all things through Christ who strengthens us.” He’s talking about your enterprises, your initiatives, your endeavors.
Not only will God’s work endure, your work can endure. So Lord enable the work of our hands. Then he says, Establish the work of our hands. When he says confirm, please let it last. Confirm it for us. We struggle against death and mortality, but you can ask God that our work will be more, our work will not be fruitless.
The New Testament equivalent is found in 1 Corinthians 15. At the end of the great resurrection declaration, the apostle Paul says, Be strong, stand firm, be immovable, let nothing move you. Always keep yourself abound in the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corithians 15:58, our labor is not in vain. God establish the work of our hands.
The third dimension of confirmation, not only enable me, establish the work, but extend it. Enlarge it. Expand it. Let it go beyond my lifetime.
There’s an old Greek proverb which says we are all planting trees under whose shade we may not get to sit. That’s a long term, a decade long, essentially long, because you’re doing the work of God. The New Testament equivalent is beautiful.
In one of the verses we use in funerals, Revelation 14, you’ve got heaven saying, “Write this: blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the spirit. They will rest from their labor. For their deeds will follow them.” Their deeds will follow them. We engage in the eternal my friend. God will use us for His internal purposes. Confirm, oh LORD, the work of our hands. Yes, confirm it.
When our kids were younger, I had yet another trip, I had to miss our son’s ballgame. I called a friend of mine and said, I’m so busy, David, I’m so busy. I’m having to miss my son’s ball game. And he said something I’ll never ever forget. He said, Ramesh, I’m busy as well, but at least you are doing the eternal. What you’re doing is eternal.
My friend, my sisters, my brothers, what we’ve been given is to out-live this life. We can’t outlast this life, but we can outlive this life.