Daily D – Psalm 90:17
And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our effort successful! PSALM 90:17 (NLT)
Things come and things go. Few things endure for generations. Glance back up the page and down again. Notice some of the descriptive words: dust, grass that quickly withers, the brevity of a few hours at night, dreams that disappear. In summary, life can feel vain, short, and troubled. There is a place in my Younique journal to record a daily affirmation. I do not think I will write this in that space.
Someone has entered into the public lexicon of useful phrases the truth that “Life is hard, but God is good.” We see this in vv. 14-16 leading up to v. 17. Verse 14 says, “Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.” Each of us requires a daily reminder that God is God and he is alive and well and at work all around us even when we cannot perceive it. We need to find ways to remind ourselves of who he is, what he has done, and the glorious destination he has planned and is prepared to execute. How could we not begin the day with joy in light of this truth?
Stand this verse next to Lamentations 3:22, 23. Write them where you can remember them. Recall the nature of the book of Lamentations. It is a book of broken-hearted grief and loss. Yet in Jeremiah’s brokenness shines the hope of better days.
Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
On this new day with expectations of unfailing love and unending mercies, we can pray with Moses, “Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good,” (v. 15). Bad things happen to us all. Better days are coming when we align our lives with God’s grace and attune our hearts to his love.
We have stories to tell about the good things our Father in heaven has done for us to bring us to this place in our lives. Moses turns his attention to those who are coming behind him as he prays, “Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory,” (v. 16). In other words, what you have done, do again. Give the generations to come stories to tell the generations to follow.
Then Moses prays for God’s favor and for success in their work (v. 17). He closes this prayer in concert with the blessing of Numbers 6:24-26:
May the LORD bless you
and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor
and give you his peace.
What will endure for generations? The work we do to build a better world for those we love, and the work we do which provides opportunities for success for people we will never meet.
Another funeral is now past. Another set of memories are enshrined. Another collection of deeds well done and lives well loved is written. Here is grace. Here is mercy. Here is a new day to build on what was established by God’s favor.
I will use today’s mercy to build a better world.
Our Father, today we need new mercy. Today we need your grace and favor. Today we need your smile on our lives. Today we need your protection and your peace. Thank you that no matter how dark our nights, your light shines on. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.