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Our Dwelling Place

July 26th, 2013

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.

Psalm 90:1

Human beings have always been on the move, migrating from one place to another to find a better life.  If you trace your own family history you will probably find this to be true. Today we go where the jobs are and the pay is better, but before people moved where the farming was better or the wild game more plentiful. When we have built homes, even castles and kingdoms, they erode very quickly. Give them just a few years, a few decades, a few centuries and they turn to dust. Is there no eternal home for us? Are we merely destined to roam the earth for all generations building what will fall apart, working at a company that will one day go out of business, contributing to societies that will one day end in moral decay and spiritual neglect?

I think of the founding fathers of the nations – and every nation has its heroes – whose lives of service created great nations. Then the nation falls into disarray, political parties in conflict, race relations at a low ebb, no one able to create a majority or to lead the nation. This is unfortunately the history of civilizations. No matter how great their shining moment was, it was, after all, just a moment in the story of mankind.

But our inspired psalmist already knew that. He had been taught by God the wonderful truth that humanity does have a home, a home that each of us can make our eternal home. It is none other than God Himself. Moses, we are told, was the author God used for this psalm, and he lived in a time of great migration of his people – from slavery in Egypt, to the wilderness wanderings, to the entrance into Palestine. He had the vantage point of knowing how temporary earthly life was, how fragile our hold on it, and how the things of this earth that we so deeply desire have a way of sifting through our hands like the desert sand.

The eye of faith was keen and sharp. He realized that God is our eternal home. Jesus certainly had this in the back of His mind when He proclaimed the truth to His disciples on the night of His betrayal and arrest, “I go to prepare a place for you … that where I am there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). There is our eternal home, not here on this earth, but in the presence of God, the spiritual home that He has prepared for us.

We are not foolish to prepare our homes on this earth. We are, in fact, most wise if we do so, if we seek to make a difference for future generations with our lives today. The psalm ends with the prayer, “Establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:17), and this should be our prayer as well, that what good we do on this earth will last beyond our lifetime. But we must realize that this too will be fleeting. The only things that we touch here that are eternal are the word of God and the souls of people who we come in contact with. So these should be our focus, even more so than earthly accomplishments. If we build a house, strengthen the economy, invent a new mouse trap, those are all fine things, but none of them by itself will be transferred into God’s eternal home.

If we introduce someone to Christ, if we encourage a fellow believer, if we commit to memory His Word, if we pray for doors to be opened for the gospel, if we take time to encourage a child about life, letting them know that God loves them – this is the stuff of eternity. The Lord will establish the works of our hands if we will focus on those eternal matters.

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