Petrol prices here went up by RM0.78 today to RM2.70. That is a huge jump, the biggest ever and this is more bad news for the already rising inflation. I keep reminding myself that this is life as it is and that I have eternity to look to, I have hope.
I was also listening to Dick Lucas' session on Psalm 90, which in fact has an extremely dismal portion about us. His title for the session is so aptly put: Are We Living in the Real World?
Many people, be it Christians or non-Christians, politicians or beauty queens, tells us that our world can be perfect, peaceful, sublime and happy, if we do and follow a certain set rules, or simply, we do what they say. As much as things can be better if we do some of those things they advocate, ultimately we live in a broken and fallen world. As much as we call for peace, for justice, for equality, and as much as we do our best to make those a reality, we are but drawn to the darkness and we revel in it.
Dick reminds us that we need to be careful not to live in Dream Land. Scriptures keep us away from dream world.
In times when we feel that life is like a rock rolling downhill, with its momentum gathering as it goes and getting chipped as it hits hard surfaces, remember Psalm 90.
In verse 1 and 2, the Psalter first remind himself of,
The Eternal God.
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting,
You are God.
After setting the scene in v.1-2, the Psalter is now able to face the terrible state of life and laments without a bitter spirit,
The Transient Life of Fallen Man.
3 You turn man back into dust
And say, "Return, O children of men."
4 For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.
5 You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.
6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades and withers away.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.
8 You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
9 For all our days have declined in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.
10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
In his closing, the Psalter say
A Prayer for True Restoration and Renewal.
13 Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.
14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.
16 Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
We too need to daily say the psalm:
First to worship our Eternal God, to acknowledge Him as Lord and King. And with our Eternal God to rule our lives, whom shall we fear?
Second, to confess our frailty and our sins, we cannot save ourselves - a fact so clearly demonstrated throughout the history of humankind.
And finally, to seek God humbly to restore and renew us, to find favour in us and confirm us as His children. We are nothing other than what He says we are.