A Psalm of Prayer, Praise, and Warning!
(Psalm 90)

Rev. Jim Bogle, given May 22, 2005

Usually we associate the Psalms with King David, but Psalm 90 was written by Moses. It is believed that Moses wrote this particular piece of poetry at the end of the Wilderness wanderings when the New Generation of Israelites were poised on the plains of Moab preparing to cross over the Jordan into the Land of Canaan.

Moses will not be going with them. Joshua will lead God’s new generation into the land of Promise. The generation that came out of Egypt with Moses have all passed away because of unbelief! And now Moses has come to the end of his days, and he knows it! The Lord has already told him that he would not be permitted to continue on with the His people.

If any man in the flesh had reason to moan and groan, to sulk and complain, or get mad and turn from the LORD over his poor lot in life, Moses was that man. But that’s not what Moses did. Moses accepted God’s judgment of him, and gave of himself 100% in helping to prepare Joshua to lead the children into Canaan.

Albert Barnes writes, “It seems...not improper to regard this Psalm as one of the last utterances of Moses, when the wanderings of the Hebrew children were about to cease; when an entire generation had been swept off; and when his own labours were soon to close.”

Listen now to this beautiful Psalm of prayer, of praise, and of warning composed by Moses...

Psalm 90:1–4

1: 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.

Moses penned the history of man’s existence from Adam through to Noah, on to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. God whispered every little important detail of these men’s lives in the ear of Moses from one generation to the next!.

And each one of these generations, Moses says, had God as their strength and their refuge. And the God that provided for Moses in his day is the same God that provided for your grandmother yesterday,

is the same God providing for you today, and

will be the same God providing for our children tomorrow.

And even though these generations that Moses speaks of have passed away, God never passes away...He is from “everlasting to everlasting.”

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

I shared this morning King David’s words to his son, Solomon, “I go the way of all the earth.”

Death, decay, and then, dust! God commands and man is returned to the very state he was created from...dust!

A man told me one day, “I know the Word of God is true because I was once asked to help exume a body from an old grave, and when we opened the casket, there was the moldy tattered suit, the shirt, and the tie, all neatly in place, but the only occupant of that suit was pure DUST!”

God turneth man to destruction, but HE is “always the God of all Creation, and the God of all eternity...”

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

So insignificant are our lives left to us! We could live to be a thousand years old, and yet it would be to God but a twinkling of the eye. Even the long life enjoyed by the saints of the Old Testament days, was but a blink of the eye to God’s timetable. There is no time table with God. There is only a timetable for man.

James 4:14

For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Every life of every generation is completely under the control of God.

Albert Barnes writes, “kings, princes, nobles, warriors, conquerers, mighty men, captains, learned, and honored men, the vigorous, beautiful, and youthful, lovely and charmed, even the loathesome, detestable, vicious, and profane all at God’s command return to dust!"

God is no respecter of persons.

Psalm 90:5–8

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.

The flood of Noah’s day took away everything breathing, with one exception, Noah and his family. At the Red Sea, a massive number of Egyptians lost their lives in a moment of time.

In the wilderness it is estimated that Moses watched over 1 million people die. And when death came it was indiscriminant. 3,00 Israelite men died over the golden calf incident at Sinai. And then over 14,000 died over the incident with Kora in Numbers 16.

It is amazing when you consider that, during the exodus and wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel, everyday, on average, there was a funeral for seventy souls gone out into eternity!.Where did all of those souls go!!!

You never know what a day is going to bring...

But, God is always and forever in charge of that day!

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.

Death comes by way of God’s judgment of sin. This is why death is in the world at all.

1 Corinthians 15:22

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death;but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

God is a just God. He loves the sinner...He hates the sin...and will judge sin! Nothing escapes the eyes, ears, or heart of God. He is always aware of our goings on.

Psalm 90:9–17

9: 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.

No matter how wonderful each day of your life is, or how tragic, you are living in a world engulfed in sin, and therefore face, if the LORD tarries, death.

God’s wrath is against sin, and death is in this world because of sin. Our labor in this world, and our striving to make a name for ourselves, or create some kingdom for ourselves within this world is but vanity….soon the life is cut off, and Moses says we fly away like a puff of smoke.

Moses pleaded with the people before the crossing of the Jordan not to forget their God; to be in awe of Him, and to serve Him, and to walk in all of His ways. For God is to be feared, to be respected, to be praised, and yet, some would have no praise for God, nor fear, nor respect.

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

“For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due YOU!”

The children of Israel stood at the base of Mount Sinai and witnessed the great power of God in thundering and lightning, and blasts of trumpets, and the quaking of the ground, and smoke ascending up. And they did exactly what every sinner should do; they backed away from the mountain. They were in fear and much trembling.

Today the world sees great natural disasters, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, massive destruction on every hand, and writes it off to anything else but GOD!.

When we should be looking up to God, repenting of our sinfulness and waywardness, and seeking HIS powerful healing hand, we dismiss God as just mere coincidence!

This morning, the sheep that came to Powhatan, was this mere coincidence? God spoke to my heart this morning in a number of ways, and I’m sure he spoke to your heart also. God help the man or the woman that finds nothing to rejoice about with regard to this sheep that came to Powhatan this morning. God speaks to us, many times, through simple things and simple experiences in life.

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

If our time is truly short here, yet eternal there, our wisdom should be upon how we can better serve the Creator here.

13: 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.

When the wayward soul repents, Moses pleads that God’s blessing will soon follow that the repentant soul might rejoice and be glad in the days of life remaining.

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.

The children of Israel were about to go into a land and occupy homes that they had not built and eat crops that they had not sown, and drink wine from vineyards that they had not pruned…this was God’s work…and Moses wanted God to let the children of Israel be blessed by seeing this great work and benefiting from it!

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.

What work are you engaged in tonight for the Lord Jesus Christ?

Do you want to see it come to fruition?

Trust the Lord.