Summary: We have a short life, we need to know the One who is eternal. We live a sinful life, we need God’s forgiveness. We have a frail life, we need God’s help.
The author of this psalm is Moses. The first writer of the Bible is Moses.
- No books were written in the days before the Flood when people lived to be almost 1000 years of age. Methuselah lived to be 969 years old.
- No Bible books were written in the days of Abraham when people were still living to be 180, and so forth.
- The first Bible books which were written were written when the average lifespan of man’s life has been reduced to 70-80 years.
We need to hear what Moses has to say.
- This is a serious psalm. It makes no pretence about the realities of life, death, sin and the wrath of God.
(1) We live a Short Life - we need to know the One who is the Eternal
This psalm was a prayer by the aged Moses.
- He looked back at life and saw the real needs of man.
- Man’s life is frail. It is short.
Somebody has calculated, not sure how, that as Moses was leading the children of Israel through the desert during those 40 years, at least 15,000 people would have needed to be buried. (It was in an old commentary.)
So, over the forty-year period, Moses and the Israelites were faced with this duty, day after day - several times a day - burying their dead. In Singapore, with a population of about 3 millions, we cremate many in one day. Crematorium can be fully booked.
You see how this message was imprinted upon their minds and upon Moses’ mind.
Moses brings to mind the brevity of life - 90:4 like a watch in the night; 90:5 weep men away in the sleep.
James 4:14 - What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
90:10 - The length of our days is seventy years - or eighty, if we have the strength.
Moses asks the Lord to teach him how to count his days so he can be wise.
Ps 90:12 - Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
If we have only $100 to spend, we will be careful what we buy. We cannot afford to waste it.
- In a drought, shortage of water, we try to save water.
Calvin: Great scholars and scientists spend a lot of time calculating the distance from the earth to the sun, and from this planet to that planet, and calculating the distance from here to the moon, and the lifespan of different animals, plants, and trees but few people would like to study the lifespan of man. It makes them think of the shortness of their own life!
Life is short and limited, so how are we to live wisely? KNOW GOD
- Man has sinned against God and needed to be reconciled to Him.
- We have to meet Him one day. He is the ETERNAL God.
- Moses began the psalm Ps 90:1-2 “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
We need to know that which is eternal – we are going to face Him one day.
- Prov 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom..."
Thomas Chalmers, a mathematician and a scientist, became a Christian. Someone said to him: "What about the mathematics now?" He was busy preparing sermons all the time and he saw something far more important - the desire to save souls.