The people of Israel have been wandering the desert for some time. A destination that should have taken several months turned into 40 years. They just kept going around “that same ol’ mountain”! God was the deliver and Moses was the servant whom God used. They were a rebellious bunch. Never satisfied and forever complaining. This is the earliest known Psalm. Written by Moses, it expressed his prayers of the people who wandered and some died without seeing the Promised Land. Numbers 14:11-23.
Truth for today: This a very heart-wrenching prayer. The sorrow of Moses for these people must have been overwhelming. To number our days is to measure the time left in life and make every day count. Everyday belongs to the Lord and we need make the best of each one for his glory—not our own. It is based on the recognition that life is short. Our goal should be to recognize each day as a day given to us by the grace of God, to be used in His wisdom—we learn to make choices through which God can establish the work of our hands (v. 17) producing something valuable to those that follow after us (v. 16) and honors God.
Psalm 90 — Moses calls on God to plead for the people
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever before You had formed the earth
and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man to destruction, and say, “Return, O children of men.”
4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past—
like a watch in the night You carry them away like a flood, they are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up in the evening it is cut down and withers.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified.
8 You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath—
We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years, and if by reason of strength they are eighty years—
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow, for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
16 Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children.
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our
hands for us— Yes, establish the work of our hands.
c We should understand that knowing “the wrath of God” is man’s best safeguard against offending him…learning to number our day aright, and to recognize the shortness of our days—will produce the kind of godly wisdom that God will smiles upon.