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Psalm 90:1-6 1
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” 4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—they are like the new grass of the morning: 6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.

img182Background 2

The Psalm is entitled a Prayer of Moses. However, that does not mean that Moses wrote the psalm. This psalm makes us think of Genesis 3 and Deuteronomy 32. The psalm uses “words that Moses” said, from these books.

The psalm is in 4 parts. The first 3 parts are in verses 1-12. They could be about anybody in the world. They are true for all of us. But the last part, verses 13-17, is about God’s people, the *Jews. Something bad had happened and they are praying that God will be good to them. We do not know what this bad thing was. It could be anything after the time of Moses!

Biblical Truth

Verse 1, “a home for us” means a place that we can always go to. In John 14:2 it says, “I (Jesus) am going to make a place for you”. Jesus meant the place we go to when we die. But we can always go to God while we are still alive on the earth wherever we are. God will be with us if we ask him.

Verse 2 sees God as a mother. He has children … the earth and the world. The world is that part of the earth where people live. This tells us in special words (poetry) that God made (created) the world.
Verse 3, there are two things that make us think about Genesis 2-3:

  • Genesis tells us that God made (created) men and women from dust.
  • “Adam” was the first man that God made. We are all “sons of Adam”. We could translate this “all men and women”.

Verse 4, “a thousand years” here may again make us think of the beginning of Genesis. Men and women then lived for a very long time. Methuselah was nearly a thousand years old when he died! The verse means this: What is a very long time to us is a short time to God.

Verse 5 The Bible talks about death as “sleep”. One day, after we die, we will all awake … and see God!

Verse 6 Grass in Israel did not grow for long. It soon died. The psalm tells us that people are the same. God will always be alive, but men and women will soon die.

Items for Discussion

  • It is often hard to think of ourselves as a simple grass, here today and gone tomorrow. Where is the hope of salvation in this psalm?
  • Why is it so important to always acknowledge that God is the “Creator of our world?”
  • Why should we care about God’s lack of concern for “time?”
  • With an acknowledgement of our temporal nature, what should our response be to God, to this world?

 

Luke 21:1-4
1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Background 3

Paul the Apostle calls Luke the “beloved physician” (Col. 4:14). Luke was a companion and fellow worker of Paul (2 Tim. 4:11; Philemon 24). They traveled extensively. Luke was a keen observer of the human condition. Like a good physician, he saw people as they were and he loved them all. His gospel is the easiest to read and understand, because it presupposes that his audience is not familiar with Jewish customs and practices.

In his introduction to the gospel (see Luke 1:1-4) Luke speaks in the first person. This is a somewhat unique approach since the other gospels all speak in the third person. Luke addresses his friend, Theophilus, a name which means “beloved of God”. In so many words he says, “I am writing to you the most incredible story humankind has known.” And this story is utterly believable because it comes from many reliable firsthand witnesses of those who knew Jesus Christ personally, heard his teaching, and saw his miracles, death and resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father in heaven.

Luke was a Gentile. He is the only New Testament writer who was not a Jew. He addressed his gospel to a fellow Gentile, named Theophilus. Luke intended his gospel for the Gentile Christians. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and likely encouraged Luke to write such an account. Luke wanted to give an account of the gospel to a non-Jewish audience who were not accustomed to Jewish beliefs and practices and who lived in a society dominated by Greek culture and language. Luke wrote his gospel in the common Greek of the day. It was likely written between 63-70 A.D.

Biblical Truth 4

“From the offering of this poor widow, learn that what we rightly give for the relief of the poor, and the support of God’s worship, is given unto God; and our Savior sees with pleasure whatever we have in our hearts to give for the relief of his members, or for his service. Blessed Lord! the poorest of thy servants have two mites, they have a soul and a body; persuade and enable us to offer both unto thee; how happy shall we be in thine accepting of them!” ~ Matthew Henry

Items for Discussion

  • Why does God want us to give to Him?
  • What makes the widow’s gift so much better than that which might came from a gift, given from wealth?
  • Can someone with wealth and abundance gain the same benefits of stewardship that the widow gained?
  • Does God ask us to give all we have to Him?
  • What else besides our wealth should we share with God?

Discussion Challenge

  • Churches are formal organizations, needing funds to survive – How does a congregation balance the needs of a church during difficult economic times when many of its members are like the widow?

 

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