Summary: Death is often perceived as the enemy, but could there be another perspective?
Psalm 90 is the oldest psalm and was written by Moses. It was written during a very bleak time in Hebrew history. Moses was commissioned by God to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. After the miraculous escape through the Red Sea, Moses leads them toward the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Kadesh Barnea – spies). They disobeyed God’s instructions and the consequence was the death of an entire generation. The Hebrews wandered in the desert for thirty-eight years. Over those years, over one million people died - about eighty-seven funerals a day. Moses was surrounded by death and despair. This man of God then took out his journal and began to pour out his prayer to the Lord.
Moses affirms that God is
• faithful, and
• completely holy.
He contrasts the eternal God with fragile mankind. Man
• fickle, and
The psalm centers on the concept of time.
It does so in two ways:
1. reference to words like: generations; thousand years being as a single hour; numbering days; 70 years
2. juxtaposing what is measurable with the eternal.
Why this preoccupation with time? [RETROSPECTIVE]
CONFRONTED BY MORTALITY (am, noon, pm)
The average life of copper wire is twenty years. Joe Hilt may very well have the oldest chicken on record at the age of eighteen years. The average age for a cat is fifteen years. The average life of a dollar bill is eighteen months. The average life of a painted line on the road is three to four months. The average life of a pro basketball players shoes is two weeks. The average life of a tornado is ten minutes. And the average life of a human is 25,550 days. (adapted)
“….the Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7)
It is appointed for man to die once, after this comes the judgment.” (Hebrew 9:27)
CONFRONTED BY FUTILITY(moan, withering grass)
KJV vs. 5 “Thou hast swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep.” - allusion to the flood in Genesis 6 & 7. In Noah’s time - people were strong, boastful & rebellious against God.
Noah watched that entire generation be swept away in judgment because of their rejection of God.
Moses watched as an entire generation died in the wilderness because of their rejection of God’s direction into the Promised Land. Like grass that springs up new in the morning, they withered and were no more.
Isaiah states this beautifully: “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them.” (Isaiah 40:6)
CONFRONTED BY ETERNITY
Generation – measurement of time. In Abraham’s time a generation = 100 years; Moses = 38 years. God – through all generations. Predates the mountains (creation).
The one who is not time-bound. God is not a recent invention -- he’s been there from forever and will be around forever.
Dwelling Place - "to sit, abide, inhabit, remain."
"God sits upon the throne of his holiness" (Ps. 47:8)