Summary: Psalms 90
FROM EVERYDAY TO ETERNITY (PSALM 90)
Mickey’s wife bought a new line of expensive cosmetics guaranteed to make her look years younger. After a lengthy sitting before the mirror applying the “miracle” products, she asked, “Darling, honestly, what age would you say I am?”
Looking over her carefully, Mickey replied, “Judging from your skin, twenty; your hair, eighteen; and your figure, twenty five.”
“Oh, you flatterer!” she gushed.
“Hey, wait a minute!” Mickey interrupted. “I haven’t added them up yet.”
The last year 2015 was characterized by the 4Ts – terror (ISIL), trouble (Occupy Central) and tragedy (New Year stampede, a capsized ship, coal-mine explosions and fires, and a toppled building).
Psalms 90 is unique in three ways: (1) It is the oldest psalm written by the oldest man in the post-Genesis era. Psalms 91-100 is traditionally ascribed to Moses. (2) The timeline is from eternity (vv 1-2), future (vv 3-11) and then present (vv 12-end). (3) It is a favorite psalm for funerals, as attested by Spurgeon.
How do you characterize your life? What meaning does your life have? What difference have you made? Does your today and tomorrow. Psalm 90 has a perfect answer for viewing life past, present and future.
Seek His Permanent Dwelling
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
The most famous golfer today is Tiger Woods, who became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, at age 18. But at 40 in 2015, USA Today has an article titled “Tiger Woods turns 40, but it sure looks like 70.”
Another says, “Tiger Woods at 40: Down and in pain, but not yet ready to call it a career.” He’s cashed for more than $1 billion, according to Forbes. Tiger was so great everybody thought he would break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors but he stopped at 15 in 2008. The physical toll from unleashing one of the most powerful swings in the game has beaten his body down. Tiger has not played since three surgical procedures for his ailing back in 19 months in the third week of August 2015.
The Years of Peak performance
Hard work is the trait all top stars have in common, but age is the wild card:
Track and field world record breakers – 25 (at age of peak performance)
Major league baseball MVPs – 27
Chemists – 35
Economists (theoretical) -36
Great inventors – 39
Economists (data-driven) -56
Philosopher – 64
Source: David w Galenson, Benjamin F Jones, Harvey C Lehman, Fortune “What It Takes to BE Great” 10/30/06
Let me ask you a question: Out of 150 psalms how many prayers are titled as “A prayer of so and so…” The answer is only five– three are from David (Ps 17:1. 86:1, 142:1), one is from Moses (Ps 90:1) and one “a prayer of the afflicted” (Ps 102:1), so this is a prayer, a psalm and a poem – in that order. How often does this noun “prayer” appear in Moses’ story or account? The answer is none until Psalm 90. The verb form occurs in Moses’ account as many as four times – three times to pray for the people (Num 11:2, 21:7, Deut 9:26) and none for David. Rabbinic tradition assigns the ten following Psalms, Psalms 91-100 to Moses. Other Psalms written by Moses are also found in Exodus 15, and in Deuteronomy 32. Psalms 90-106 is Book IV of Psalms and Book IV begins with a powerful and praiseworthy prayer. Of all the 150 psalms in the Bible, only Psalm 90 begins with the respectful “Lord” (adonai) address. That itself makes it a direct, distinctive and distinguished prayer. Adonai means the Master and more than just the Maker, the Commander, chief and controller of your life and not just the Creator, chum or companion of your life and not just the Creator, Big Boss first before Best friend.
The noun “dwelling place” is translated as habitation (Deut 26:15) and den
(Jer 9:11). A dwelling place is a place to reside, to retreat, to reflect, to relax and to rest. A dwelling place is not a house or a habitat, but a home and a harbor. The phrase “all generations” is an echo of God’s revelation in Exodus 3:15 that is dominated by the Psalms (Ps 33:11, 45:17, 49:11, 72:5, 79:13, 85:5, 89:4, 90:1, 100:5, 102:24, 106:31, 119:90, 135:13, 145:13) more than any book of the Bible. In all generations in Hebrew is simply “generation, generation.” It is a continuous, consistent and close relationship, not a checkered, chilly or contentious relationship.
There are three words associated with time in verses 1- to 2: all generations, before, and everlasting. Another triplet is mountain, earth and world. The Lord’s presence and promise are unstopping, unchanging and unerring. The Lord wants to establish a firm and fixed relationship, not a fast and fleeting relationship. Verse reveals that the Lord by nature is an everlasting, eternal and enduring God, so His relationship with us is not ephemeral, expiring and ended. It is a generational, growing and gradual, grounded and gridlock relationship. All life is characterized by decay, decline, death. Only the Lord is faithful, final and forever.