Tuesday Reflections – November 10, 2020 – Psalm 90 – The World Behind the Text

This week we are looking closely at Psalm 90.  Today in our world behind the text, I want to take a look at something that I said in the description of this Psalm.  We are told that this is a Psalm of Moses.  That is interesting because there aren’t many Psalms that are associated with Moses. We typically think of the Book of Psalms as a book associated with David because David wrote most, but not all the Psalms. 

If there’s any part of Scripture that we associate with Moses, we think of the Law.  We think of Moses in light of Leviticus, or Deuteronomy, or Numbers. We don’t tend to associate Moses with the Psalms because the Psalms are thought of as instruments of worship. We talked to you today about how the Psalms were for the Jewish people, their hymnal we associate the Psalms with Jewish worship.

Yet think about what Moses did for most of his life. He helped the people worship. Think of all the times in Scripture, the Moses commune with God. Think of all the times in Scripture, Moses led the people and renewals of Covenant or an act of worship. So we often don’t really think of Moses in the same worshipful way that we think of David. But if you look at Moses’ life, you’re going to see that Moses actually, much like David spent a lot of his life, leading the people in worship, and worshiping God Himself. When we understand that the song was written by Moses, we see some interesting things here though.

Look at what it says: you swept them away like a dream that good like the grass that afternoon in the morning, were consumed by your anger. Think of all the times Israelites saw God’s judgment in the Exodus.  We see in this Psalm the truth about the briefness of life and how fickle life is. 

Think about Moses’ life. Remember, Moses led the people out of Egypt. And then you see that as they went, they came very close to entering the promised land, and they rebelled against God and would not obey and would not follow. And at that point, they then wandered the rest of for 40 years. And the first generation of the Israelites that left Egypt died away. And Moses wound up leading the children of that first generation. Think about that for a minute. Think of all the people that Moses saw die. Think of all the friends, all the coworkers, all the colleagues, all the fellow folks in worship that Moses saw die out the priest, and the Levi’s, all these,

Moses saw the reality of death.

And so it’s so interesting that when you read this passage, you see this passage as a call to wisdom. But you see it as a call to wisdom, understanding that life is short and fragile. And Moses understood that Moses saw the reality of life, and the reality of death.

That’s why the Psalm has to it almost a somber note to it. If you think of a song like Psalm 51, which is David’s Psalm of repentance. And you see a sorrowful assault of a sorrowful concept there. What you see to me in this passage is just an acceptance.

Life’s short, and our wisdom comes not from trying to prolong life or comes not from wealth or power. But our wisdom comes from understanding the beautiful reality of each day.

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