What does a thousand years look like from the Lord’s bird’s eye view? What’s a millennium worth in the sight of the timeless, everlasting God and creator of the universe? Psalm 90:4-6 offers some clues: For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood; They are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers.
In God’s sight, a thousand years are:
- like yesterday when it is past
- like a watch in the night
- like flood that is being carried away
- like a sleep
- like grass which flourishes and grows up in the morning, but by evening it is cut down and withers
I don’t know about you, but I am humbled by the Psalmist’s description of the value of 1000 years in the sight of the Lord. From God’s point of view, 1000 years ain’t nothing but a thang. A thousand years is like yesterday, it is similar to all the hours you spent sleeping last night; it’s like beautiful, lush green grass, but once the sun beats on it or a herd of cattle trample on it, the grass is gone. From God’s point of view, life on earth is like vapor or a brief documentary. Ellicott’s commentary explains Psalm 90:4 this way: To One who is from the infinite past to the infinite future, and Whose purpose runs through the ages, a thousand years are no more than a yesterday to man.
Whatever yesterday is worth to you is what a millennium is worth to God from His heavenly perspective. We are reminded of the brevity of life over and over again in the Scriptures:
James 4:14 – whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
Psalm 103:14 – 16 – For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
Isaiah 40:6b – 7 – “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.
Yes, you read it right. With all the glitz, glamour, and razzle dazzle of our lives on earth, you and I are compared to “vapor”, “mist”, “dust”, “withering grass”, and “fading flower”. Again, I am humbled by these words. Let us run the race of life with vigor and passion, but remember that the golden prize we must reach for is salvation and making it to heaven (Philippians 3:14). Believe in in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Acts 16:31). Obey the commandments of God (John 14:15, 21). Love God and love other people (Mark 12:30-31).
Today, the Lord is saying to you “stop sweating it!” Yes, we must live responsibly, work hard, and use your time wisely as long as we have the gift of the breath of life, but don’t forget what matters most. The degrees, awards and accolades, promotions, jewelry, retirement nest egg, real estate holdings, newspaper headlines, fancy clothing etc., and the time we spend on earth acquiring all these things are like vapor in the eyes of the eternal God of heaven and earth. Hug your loved ones, encourage someone with a text message, comfort those who are grieving, help to pay someone’s bills, look for opportunities to serve in your community, buy groceries for a family in need, forgive, pray, and worship God with careless abandon.
My parting words for you, Psalm 90:4a “For a thousand years in [God’s] sight are like yesterday when it is past”. Life is brief, make it count. Until we meet again, WORK IT OUT!
…WORK OUT your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12b)