Book #4: 90-106
Since this is a Psalm by Moses it is the oldest of the Psalms.
Psalm 90:1-2-Moses begins by recognizing an essential quality of the nature of God…He is eternal. The words “from everlasting to everlasting” speak of the fact that God has existed eternally in the past (there has never been a time when He did not exist), and He will exist eternally into the future (God always will exist in the future). He then says that the world was created by God.
Psalm 90:3-6-Man(kind) is temporary…meaning that he had a beginning. God created him out of the dust of the earth (cf. Genesis 2:7)…and when he dies he returns to the dust (burial, :3). To God, time is nothing…a thousand years (this could be a reference to the fact that the longest span of human life that is recorded in the Bible is 969 years, Methuselah, cf. Genesis 5:27) are no more consequential to Him than the passing of a single day, or sleeping through a single night (:4). But to man…the end seems to come far too quickly and unexpectedly. Like the sudden arrival of a flood, or the short-lived existence of grass that blooms in the morning and then withers away by nightfall.
Psalm 90:7-8-God is aware of man's sin…even those that he thought no one knew about (:8). Sin not only has a spiritual affect on our life, but it actually shortens the physical lifespan of mankind.
Psalm 90:9-12-This is not a declaration that all men will only live to be 70-80 years old…but a statement of comparison between the average length of life that men generally have and the eternal nature of God. He asks God to help us to be aware of the shortness of life so that we might be wiser in what we do during that time.
An interesting fact:
Among some Jews, a man who has reached the age of 83 will customarily celebrate a second bar mitzvah, under the logic that in the Torah it says that a normal lifespan is 70 years, so that an 83-year-old can be considered 13 in a second lifetime. This practice has become increasingly uncommon.
Psalm 90:13-17-He prays that God will return and give them His favor. This will lead them to joy and gladness (:14). He asks that they will have as many days of blessing as they have had of affliction (:15).
Psalm 91:1-4-The Psalmist makes a strong statement of faith concerning the protection of God for His people. He uses 4 names for God in the first 2 verses..."Most High, Almighty, LORD, God". Also, notice the numerous descriptive terms that the Psalmist uses to describe God’s protection…
- shelter of the Most High
- shadow of the Almighty
- delivers you from the snare of the trapper
- cover you with His pinions
- under His wings
Psalm 91:5-10-He describes the confidence that God's people have as a result of His protection.
Psalm 91:11-13-He describes the safety that God provides for His people. God commands angels to protect His people (cf. Hebrews 1:14). His people will have dominion over creation.
Psalm 91:14-16-He records the words of the promise of God for those who call upon Him.
This was a Psalm that was specifically identified to be used on the Sabbath.
Psalm 92:1-4-It is good to give thanksgiving and praise to God all day long and in many ways for the many things that He has done. Someone has suggested that thanksgiving is worship of God for what He has done, and praise is worship of God for Who He is.
Psalm 92:5-9-The Psalmist speaks of God’s mighty works and comprehensive wisdom. The wicked fail to recognize these qualities of God. Ultimately, it will be this failure to recognize the wonder and glory of God that will lead to the judgment of the wicked. God will continue to reign supreme throughout all of eternity, but the wicked will face judgment.
Psalm 92:10-15-The righteous will know the blessings of God (:10-14) and will declare them (:15). The phrase, “exalted my horn like that of the wild ox” speaks of the strength that God gives him. The phrase, “anointed with fresh oil” speaks of the fact that God has consecrated him for service.
Prayer: Father, in these Psalms I am reminded of Your greatness and power and strength. There is nothing that is beyond Your control. And that includes those things that I must deal with in my life. As I read Psalm 91, I meditate on the pictures of Your protection…a shelter, a fortress, a refuge. The Psalmist seemed determined to convince his readers that no matter what was happening in their life…You were more than adequate to handle it. His references go from the sheer strength of a military fortress to the tender care of a mother bird for her young. So Lord, I am encouraged to trust You with all of my life. You always know what I need and You have the ability to do it. Thank You, Lord.