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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 90

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The Fourth Book of Psalms (c 90-106)
Message: Moses' Prayer (v 1-17)

Psalms 90 Commentary

(90:1) The Lord's Timetable - Moses reminds us that a thousand years are like a day to the Lord. God is not limited by time. We may get discouraged when years pass, the world seems worse, and our bodies slow down or wear out. We may wonder if God still controls the future. But don't assume that God has our limitations. God is completely unrestricted by time. Because he is eternal, we can depend on him and his plans. 

(90:8) Hiding From God - God knows all our sins as if they were spread out before him, even the secret ones. Our entire lives read like an open book to him. Trying to hide our sins from him would be futile, so we are free to talk openly and honestly with him about them. But while God knows all that terrible information about us, he still loves us and wants to forgive us. God's knowledge about us shouldn't make us afraid of him--it should encourage us to draw even closer to him. 

(90:12) Life is a Vapor - Realizing that life is short helps us use whatever time we have more wisely and for eternal good. Take time to number your days by asking, What can I do to grow in wisdom before I die? What small step could I take toward fulfilling God's purpose today?" 

(90:14-15) A Return of Joy - Every person's life is a story. Early failures and past sins still haunt some. The consequences haven't gone away. For others, physical or emotional pain from difficult relationships and bad situations rob them of God's joy. In Moses prayer, we see that joy can return. God can rebuild and replace the bad years with good ones for those who turn to him (see Joel 2:13-14, 25). With God's help and the support of his people, you can start now to write a better end to your story. 

(90:17) Our Numbered Days - Because our days are numbered, we want our work to count, to be effective and productive. We desire to see God's eternal plan revealed now and for our work to reflect his permanence. If we feel dissatisfied with this life and allits imperfections, we must remember that the desire to see our work established is placed there by God (see the note on Ecclesiastes 341). But this desire for fulfillment can only be fully satisfied in eternity. Until then, we must apply ourselves to loving and following God and serving others.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Eternal Decisions

Each day, we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, applying our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 90. In our text today, we see a theme of God's eternal nature is contrasted with man's frailty. In making an application, we see that since our time on earth is limited, we are to live for eternity and not for the moment. Today, we live in an instant society; people want what they want now without thinking about the future. In contrast, the Lord instructs us to make decisions with eternity on our minds. How about you? Do you live for the moment? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that we live and make decisions with eternity on our minds versus our own instant gratification.


Psalm 90

Psalm 90

 1Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

 2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

 3Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

 4For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

 5Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

 6In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

 7For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

 8Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

 9For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

 10The 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.

 11Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

 12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 13Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

 14O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

 15Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

 16Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

 17And 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.