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Psalm 90

Mary Schmidke

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”

For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.

You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:

in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.

You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;

we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.

11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12 So teach us to number our days

that we may get a heart of wisdom.

13 Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.

16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.

17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

This is the only Psalm thought to be written by Moses. I don’t about you, but I had no idea Moses authored a Psalm. 

When I think about Moses, his life stories and the hand of God on his life– I am awestruck. He was miraculously spared a child, welcomed into and raised in the center of worldly power at that time, found his true heritage and found God, renounced his worldly royalty, surrendered his life to God and became a man of God. He is used by God in gigantic ways - miracle after miracle - to walk out this part of God’s story for His beloved people. I love that God faithfully gave Moses an amazing love for His people, so that he could be used by God to do His will. God not only gives us the tools, but more importantly, He gives us His heart to do His will.

Moses did not see himself the way God did. Moses wondered “why him” -how could he do the things being asked of him… but in God’s strength, he walked the path the Lord set before him. I would say… he was stretched, regularly! So close to God was Moses – he stood on God’s holy ground, in His presence, so physically near to our God that his appearance was changed. Wow. And still, Moses had moments of human failing and suffered the consequences. 

So Moses, this man of God with all these experiences, writes a Psalm. And what does he write about?  

To me… he says: Life is short. We are a sinful people in a sinful world. The Lord God is, has always been, and will always be the only sure hope for anyone and everyone. He is the only dwelling place and source of peace, joy, wisdom, protection, and rest. We are frail. God is eternally God. And more than able to deliver us from ourselves is His divine favor.  

Verse 17 twice repeats the plea to “establish the work of our hands”.  That is my plea, my prayer.

Lord God, we lay prostrate before you and seek your face that we would keep our eyes upon you. Lead each of us on the path you have chosen - just for us. Establish the work of our hands that we may do your will. Stretch us.

Help us to find your joy in all things that we may be glad all our days – especially when in the face of adversity and doubt. Keep us focused on you. Give us hearts of your wisdom and deep compassion. Help us to love the way you love. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. All praise, honor, and glory to you Lord Jesus!

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