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The Gospel is in Psalm 90

Psalm 90 is the beginning of Book Four of Psalms. Psalm 90 is the oldest Psalm, written by Moses by the year 1440 BC. It is entitled "From Everlasting to Everlasting" and is well-known as "A Prayer of Moses, the man of God."

Psalm 90 is ascribed to Moses. It seems to have been inspired by Israel's wandering in the desert, which was punishment for their disobedience at the borders of the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14). That would make this the oldest text in the collection of Psalms. It is outstanding that the oldest Psalm contains a reference to the briefness of human life, as seen in verse 10. Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (KJV)

Moses opens this Psalm with a definite contrast. God is eternal and everlasting; man is temporary and created. The opening expressions state that God is beyond time and the Universe; He has no origin nor was He created. God told Moses: Exodus 3:13-14 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (KJV) GOD simply IS!  

Mankind, on the other hand, die and return to the dust from which they are made. Psalm 90:1-4  A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (KJV)
Gen. 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (KJV)

One reason for life's briefness is human sin. Judgment from God comes on those who provoke His wrath. Moses uses the analogy of grass, which can change from green and healthy to withered and dead very quickly. This is echoed in other parts of Scripture: Heb. 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (KJV)
Dear one, God is able to see ALL things, including secret sins: Psalm 90:5-8 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. 8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (KJV)

Because of human sin our lives terminate like a soft, fading puff of breath. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinnedRomans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteousRomans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
Most humans, on average seem to live about 70 to 80 years. Those with especially good conditions might live to well over 100, but even those who live long lives still die . . . unless our Lord Jesus comes for us at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18).

I wonder just how many really consider what will happen when they face Judgment Day before God! The idea of numbering our days is directly tied to a wise viewpoint. The key for us to understand our situation before God . . . is to realize we are here on Earth for just a certain number of days. Psalm 90:9-12 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (KJV)

Moses ends his prayer with an appeal for God to rescue and enlighten His people. The cry of "how long" is a common one from the Old Testament.
Psalm 6:3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? (KJV)
Psalm 35:17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. (KJV)
Psalm 89:46 How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire? 
Isaiah 6:11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, (KJV)
Hab. 1:2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! (KJV)

It's normal in the midst of hardship to wonder when, or if, God will respond. But Moses expresses faith that God will give Israel reasons to rejoice. He especially asks for God to demonstrate Himself to the people, to encourage their faith. The Psalm ends with a repeated request for God to bless Israel's efforts.
Psalm 90:13-17 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 
14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17 And let the beauty 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. (KJV)

What can we learn from the prayer of Moses?

  1. First, Moses stresses the eternal nature of God. Psalm 90:1-2 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (KJV)
  2. Second, Moses speaks of the fragile nature of humanity in verses 3–6. Psalm 90:3-6 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. (KJV) Verse 5 tells us that God sweep people away in the sleep of death . . . they are like the new grass of the morning . . . meaning our time on Earth is short.
  3. Third, Moses stresses mankind's sinful nature and shortcomings before a perfect God. Psalm 90:7-8 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. 8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (KJV) Our sins are before Him, our secret sins are wide open to Him.
  4. Fourth, Moses stresses how short life is for people, compared to God's eternal nature.  Psalm 90:9-12 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
    (KJV) Moses tells us that we may live to seventy or eighty, and this verse also teaches an existence after death. We do not just "end" . . . but we should glean from the brevity of earthly life: Teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
  5. Fifth, Moses prays for God's grace upon His people in verses 13–17. Psalm 90:13-17 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17 And let the beauty 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. (KJV) Verse 17 ends with a blessing. Dear one, without God, our work amounts to nothing.

I think Moses wants his prayer in Psalm 90 to strike down the smug, enlighten the ignorant, and give faith to those with no hope. His foremost aim is that men might learn to fear God and, terrified by God's wrath and death, might humble themselves before Him and be prepared for the reception of divine grace. Man cannot fear God unless he has first been shown God's wrath.

If man is to be properly prepared for death and judgment, he must experience God's work in the Law and the Gospel. One must consider two points in this Psalm . . . #1. Moses stresses the power of death and God's wrath. He shows that ALL human nature is subject to eternal deathhe does this to terrify hardened and unbelieving despisers of God. #2. Moses prays for a remedy against despair and loss of hope, that men might not yield to hopelessness. Therefore Psalm 90 is an exceedingly precious Psalm, for in it we hear Moses perform his special office of terrifying sinners and, though in an obscure way, he directs attention to divine redemption (the Gospel). He does this to humble the proud and to console those who have been humbled.
Psalm 90 is the clear proclamation of God's wrath over sin. It is a true prayer which assumes faith and petitions God to be our Refuge. Psalm 90:11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.  (KJV) This speaks of man's complete ignorance of God's wrath and the proper fear of Him. Moses empathizes and so vocally expands the questions to encompass not just the ignorant, but the insensate, the indifferent and the spiritually numb.

Moses at this point shows why and for whom he penned the aforementioned observations. He did it because of those unconscious sinners whom he intended to bring to a realization of their misery. This is truly the worst disaster befalling us, that in the course of our life we contend with countless misfortunes, that our life is short and in constant jeopardy, that we continually face the certainty of death, but that we nevertheless neither sense nor adequately understand all this. Who can really explain this incredible spiritual unconsciousness?

Summary . . . If the language of Psalm 90 is foreign to us it is not because death has changed. It is because we have not learned from God's Word to know death in a right way. If Psalm 90 is found to be jarring and offensive then let it be because of our right handling of its Law and the comfort of the Gospel. At least then you will be able to:
2 Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV)
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (KJV) We should NOT shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God, not even the guilt-terrifying verses of Psalm 90. These words must be heard in our age, for the world is so confused by death. WE MUST LEAD PEOPLE TO THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL . . . unless your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Hell, the lake of fire, will be your eternal destination.
Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)

Mat. 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Mat. 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)

Is the Gospel in the Old Testament? YES, it is!!!

The Gospel IS in the Old Testament

The Gospel Is in Exodus Chapter 12 . .  The Gospel in Leviticus by Moses . . The Gospel IS in the Old Testament . .  . . The Gospel is in Psalm 90 . . The Many Roles of Jesus . .  WHAT Does God Want From YOU? . . The Gospel of Jesus Christ . . Jesus Is Found in Every Old Testament Book . .  Which Is the Truth of the Gospel? . . Home Page

 

 

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