Psalm 90 is a prayer showing the great contrast between God who is eternal and us who are both finite and sinful. Psalm 90:1,2 describes who God is and what He is like in these words,
“Lord, You have been our dwelling
place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought
forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
In its introduction, this Psalm says that it is a
prayer of Moses, the man of God. Moses
prayed to the Lord as the dwelling place of God’s people, the One in whom they
place their trust. Their trust is well
founded because God is everlasting. His nature never changes! Since this is a
reality, we can afford to and should place our faith in the LORD who is
unchanging and worthy of our whole trust.
In Psalm 90:3-10, Moses speaks of man whose life is but temporary for we
return to the dust at death. He compares
our short existence in this life as a passing dream, and like grass which fades
and withers (Psalm 90:5,6). Not only is
man’s existence temporary, but his life is also fraught with sin and
wickedness. Psalm 90:8 says, “You have set our iniquities
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.”
We see then the contrast between God who is eternal, righteous, and holy and man who is temporary, fragile, and sinful. But thanks be to God that this is not the end of the story. In Psalm 90:12 Moses makes this request to the LORD,
teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
The only way we can number our days and gain wisdom is for us to take into account who God is and who we are and trust in God’s saving mercy. It is when we lean upon God recognizing that we are but dust and yet God is rich in mercy, that we are living in the wisdom that the Lord has given us in His written Word.
The Psalmist ends with this plea in Psalm 90:14,17:
“Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
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.” May we continually look to the LORD for His mercy which is sure and certain and seek to live for Him that we might gain a heart of wisdom!