Psalm 90:1-17 NKJV
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
90 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man to destruction,
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
4 For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
5 You carry them away like a flood;
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up;
In the evening it is cut down and withers.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
8 You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord!
And have compassion on Your servants.
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
16 Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory to their children.
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.
There are many people who, sadly, go through life believing however they want regarding ‘a god’ that they have created in their head. Why? Because they have not had eyes of faith created in them by the Word of God. Folks, such as these, usually end up making a god that is all about love, or some theory of a balance of good versus evil, or a ‘karma-god’ that gives people what they deserve. It’s all dross apart from God’s Word of truth.
God pours out a reality check upon fallen mankind through Moses’ words in Psalm 90. What’s the reality check that man — specifically the old man — cannot stand to hear? God’s truth about death and the brevity of life; all because of sin! Only God can bring about such spiritual discernment (aka: the reality check). And in gaining such truth of God, one becomes wise.
Luther writes of this Psalm: “Moses here opens widely this punishment of sin, and this horrible misery; setting forth the proof of it in the shortness and uncertainty of human life; which life, in addition to this its shortness and uncertainty, is subject to all kinds of calamity; and in verse 11, Moses saith that this very unspeakable misery death, and all other human calamities, as parts of that death, tend, or should lead us, to seek the grace and mercy of God, who alone can deliver us from all these evils, sin, the slavery of the devil, and death. Hence all the calamities and afflictions of life, and even death itself, the punishment of sin, work together for good unto the elect, and unto those that fear God; that they may, by all things, be humbled, broken down, and crucified, and so, thirst after grace. “So teach us that we must die,” says Moses, “that we may become wise:…” (A Manual on the Psalms, pg. 253)
Let us pray: Gracious Father, keep the truth of Your Word in our ears, that we may know the wages of sin and the brevity of life, and flee to the only source of rescue and true life, through Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.