Psalm 90

Psalm 90

Book Four

From Everlasting to Everlasting

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

90   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,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
  You return man to dust
    and say, “Return, O children of man!”
  For a thousand years in your sight
    are but as yesterday when it is past,
    or as a watch in the night.
  You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning:
  in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
    in the evening it fades and withers.
  For we are brought to an end by your anger;
    by your wrath we are dismayed.
  You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
  For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
  The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
  yet their span is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
  Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?
  So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
  Return, O LORD! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
  Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
  Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.
  Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
  Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!


Psalm 90 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Psalms 90:12 NASB

We’ve all heard stories of those who receive a heart-breaking terminal diagnosis, and are only given a short time to live. It’s in those moments that they often reflect back to what’s really important in life. Time with family and friends becomes a top priority. There is a scrambling to get “things in order” with a living will, insurance, and funeral arrangements. Those who have gone astray may feel compelled to make things right with people they have wronged.

I had a conversation last week with a friend who has a father that was pretty terrible. Actually, he was nonexistent. This “father” recently received a terminal diagnosis which progressed quicker than expected. He began reaching out to his kids one by one to try and make things right as he knew his time here in this life was coming to a close. My friend initially refused a meeting with his dad, but then decided otherwise.

By the time he made up his mind, his father was not able to speak anymore. My friend called him on the phone and spoke to him while someone held the receiver to his ear. “I don’t hate you, dad. I just want you to know that.” Within the hour, his father died.

The truth of the matter is that we all take advantage of this life we are given. We skew our priorities and selfishly choose to serve ourselves. When death becomes a reality, suddenly, we sober to the truth – we wasted our life. It’s not just that we wasted it on serving ourselves, but we neglected the lives of others in a way that brings outrageous collateral damage. This is the heart of Psalm 90 verse 12.

“Teach us to number our days” is a call to face up to the reality before us. Our days are numbered. Not only that, we don’t know when our time will come! To “present to God a heart of wisdom” is another way of placing our priorities on what really matters in this life – to know Jesus and make Him known.

If we are not pouring our lives out for this truth, we become fools who only leave this earth with regrets about who we should have been or what we should have done. The irony is that those who sober in order to make things right before they die have known all along that they were living selfishly. The revelation that occurs isn’t new information, it just becomes real.

How are you living currently? If God were to call your number tomorrow, what would be the legacy of your life? In Revelation, Jesus boldly challenges those with ears to hear what the Spirit is speaking. Is that you?

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