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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Psalms

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Book IV

Psalms 90 – 106

   

FRAMEWORKS: Psa 90

    

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

    

[Preliminary Comments: This psalm, attributed to Moses, starts [Part 1] with a mix of extolling the greatness of God and recognizing the frailty of mankind. The last section [Part 2] is essentially prayer requests.

Part 1: The psalmist starts the psalm with a recognition of the wonder that there has been brought about an intimacy with God for Israel. [v.1] Note, not you have provided a dwelling place, but you have been a dwelling place, and even more the wonder that this God is the Almighty Creator who exists in eternity [v.2]. He is so great and so powerful that humanity is but dust [v.3] of His making. He is a God who exists outside of time [v.4]. But then he comes back to the frailty and temporary nature of mankind [v.5,6], especially when considered in the light of a Holy God [v.7-9]. Then, a third time, he returns to the theme of the frailty and limitation of mankind [v.10,11]

Part 2: The pleas that Moses brings before the Lord recognise their frailty and their foolishness that has incurred God's discipline.]

 

 

PART 1: v.1-11: The Greatness of God and frailty of mankind

 

v.1 God of intimacy

v.1  Lord, you have been our dwelling-place
     throughout all generations.
      

v.2 Eternal God of Creation

v.2  Before the mountains were born
     or you brought forth the whole world,
     from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

 

v.3 Frailty of mankind [1]

v.3  You turn people back to dust,
     saying, ‘Return to dust, you mortals.'
     

v.4 God outside of time

v.4  A thousand years in your sight
     are like a day that has just gone by,
     or like a watch in the night.
   

v.5,6 Frailty of mankind [2]

v.5  Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death –
     they are like the new grass of the morning:
v.6  In the morning it springs up new,
     but by evening it is dry and withered.

    

v.7-9 God of Judgment

v.7  We are consumed by your anger
     and terrified by your indignation.
v.8  You have set our iniquities before you,
     our secret sins in the light of your presence.
v.9  All our days pass away under your wrath;
     we finish our years with a moan.
    

v.10,11 Frailty of mankind [3]

v.10  Our days may come to seventy years,
     or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
     for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
v.11  If only we knew the power of your anger!
     Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
     

PART 2: v.12-17: Pleas to God

    

v.12-15 Pleas to God to act on their behalf

v.12  Teach us to number our days,
     that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

v.13  Relent, Lord ! How long will it be?
     Have compassion on your servants.

v.14  Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
     that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
v.15  Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
     for as many years as we have seen trouble.

 

v.16,17 Pleas for revelation and action

v.16  May your deeds be shown to your servants,
     your splendour to their children.

v.17  May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us;
     establish the work of our hands for us –
     yes, establish the work of our hands.

      

    

[Additional Comments: Perhaps more than almost any other human being in the Bible, Moses would have been aware of the Lord's greatness and His holiness and, therefore in the light of that, he is especially aware of the limited nature of mankind, made from dust who only exist at the Lord's bidding. A psalm that brings perspective to life!]

    

  

Continue to Psa 91