Psalms for Troubled Times – Psalm 90

For what is your life?

As we move into book 4 of the psalms, we move from the sanctuary to the wilderness, and it is apt that the first of these wilderness psalms, likely the oldest of all, is a prayer from a man whose life’s work was leading God’s people on their wilderness journey (see the book of Numbers).

If there’s one thing we know about journeys it’s that everything is constantly changing. This psalm tells us about the transitoriness of life.

‘In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth’. (V6)

Being a wilderness journey, it wasn’t easy, and this psalm also tells of the troubles of life.

‘For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled’. (V7)

Throughout the forty years in the wilderness, Moses would have seen hundreds of thousands of his brethren pass away. And each life – ‘a tale that is told’ (v9).

Sadly, there is the tale of wasted years and of self-affliction through selfish and sinful choices.

On the other hand, Moses knew a better way.

1) Dwell in our immutable God.

‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God’. (V1,2)

2) Delight in our merciful God

‘O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days … Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the delightfulness of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it’. (V14-17)

So, what is the ‘tale’ of your life? Which way will you choose? Moses prays:

‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom’. (V12)

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