About the author: Andrew and his wife Abby joined ZPC in 2015. They have two school aged children Sam and Leah. Andrew is a current ZPC Elder.
About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of hope, joy, peace, and love. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
Today's scripture: Psalm 90
The Christmas season comes to us with overwhelmingly positive messages. Joy, merry, and happy are just some of the words that fill the most well-known Christmas songs. But the reality is that Advent finds all of us in different seasons of our lives. For some of us, the warmth of the food and the lights perfectly mirrors the excitement we are experiencing. For others, the cold and dark days better reflect the pain or sadness we feel.
As I reflect on Psalm 90, I cannot help but focus on the person to whom it is attributed: Moses. In this Psalm, Moses prays for God’s blessing, as the Israelites are wandering in the desert. In the midst of the suffering and trials they have been through, Moses still has hope that the Lord will bless them—he still hopes for the Promised Land that he will never see but that his descendants will inherit. He acknowledges God’s sovereignty and permanence compared to the insignificance of man. I’m struck by the hope of a man who has wandered in the desert without seeing the fulfillment of that promise.
Moses’s faith is so strong that he is prominent in the heroes of the faith later in Hebrews 11: “By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff…He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going” (MSG).
Moses’s prayer reminds us that God is good and true, regardless of our circumstances. His prayer also reminds us that God’s timing is much different than our own. Moses’s hope was focused on the Lord, and that kept him going. As we enter Advent, I pray that our circumstances wouldn’t diminish our hope, but rather that our hope in Jesus would guide our steps. Moses’s prayer is a timely reminder that we do not find our hope in this world; our hope comes through Jesus. Moses knew his current situation was not the end of the story, and that propelled him forward.
Take some time to reflect where you saw God at work in your life during 2018. This may have come through suffering or joy, but it is important to see God’s hand where you may not have seen it in the moment. Write this down as a remembrance to sustain you in moments of pain and doubt.
We acknowledge your faithfulness and goodness. Thank you for blessing us and sustaining us through the good and the bad. Thank you for fulfilling your promise to Moses and to us through the Promised Land and ultimately through your Son Jesus. Throughout Advent, may we be reassured of Jesus’ return and the hope that provides.
In Jesus’ name we pray,