- Psalms 90-106. A prayer of Moses, the Man of God.
- Moses reminds God that He has been the dwelling place of His people throughout all ages.
- “Before there was an earth, You existed.”
- For you a thousand years are but a day of even one watch in the night.
- The people you made, you turn back to dirt.
- You sweep people away in the sleep of death.
- We are like grass, springing up in the morning and dying at day’s end.
- You set our iniquities before You. Our secret sin is in the light of Your presence.
- We finish our sinful lives with a moan after 70 or 80 years.
- The best of our days are but trouble and sorrow, but they pass away too quickly.
- Teach us to number our days, Lord, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
- “May the favor of the Lord rest on us establishing the work of our hands.”
I have long forgotten that this book of Psalms is a collection of songs, poems, and psalms covering many generations… nearly 1,000 years. This next section is from of Moses.
It seems to me that Moses, here is praying that the work that he has started, will continue to grow to be a blessing to the whole world. And indeed it has been.
Moses fired up a lethargic enslaved people to follow God. It took a lot of time and miracles to get nearly 6,000 people off their asses and ready to trust and follow God. (This story can be found beginning in Exodus, chapter 7)
But it was short lived. In less than two weeks, when they were standing beside the Sea of Reeds and saw the Egyptian army bearing down on them, They wanted to bolt for the only “home” they knew.
A black cloud dropped down between them and the enemy, the sea opened up and provided dry land for their escape. The cloud lifted, exposing them to the enemy. The army picks up the chase and follows across the seabed. The waters come crashing back together, destroying the Egyptians.
From that mightiest of deliveries, the trip to their Promised Land that should have been accomplished in 40 days, took 40 years. The mindset of the people was continuously swinging from faith to despair. Every time they rebelled and vexed God, He met their challenge with a miracle.
This section of Psalms was most likely written near the end of this forty-year period. All but three of the original group of men who had been over the age of twenty when they left Egypt, were still alive. This psalm was written for them, to remind them of how God has been leading and blessing them. Despite the waywardness of their parents, God still loved them.
It is just as true today as it was 4,000 years ago. God loves us no matter what kind of family we came from, no matter how rebellious they were, no matter how rebellious WE have been! God is always ready to change a broken, repentant life.
- A prayer of Moses (Continued).
- “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
- He promises that God will protect those who look to Him.
- They will be protected from both natural and man-made disasters.
- You will have no need to fear the terrors of the night nor the plagues that strike at midday.
- “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.”
- “A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.”
- “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike you foot against a stone.”
- No harm will overcome you, no disaster will come near your house.
- “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him and I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.”
“He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike you foot against a stone.”
This is the passage that satan ( sorry, Spellchecker, he doesn’t deserve a capitol “S”) quoted to Jesus when he was tempting Him to take a shortcut in His plan of Redemption, by jumping off of the temple roof.
I suppose that many have questioned the statements of Moses in this psalm, for the record plainly covers the history of the Jews through the centuries. They were NOT always protected by God. But the record is also clear that the reason so many of them were killed in battle was because they were disobeying God and living like the surrounding nations.
During the 20th century persecution of the Jews throughout Europe, millions of Jews were killed. Only a pitiful few survived. Was this, in reality, the only ones who were serving God?
Heavens, NO! For some of those survivors continued their lives as unbelievers, ones who lost their faith in God. Still others praised God in adversity and lived long lives, honoring God.
I rather imagine that there were many faithful God-followers who proclaimed with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I serve Him,” and they died trusting God.
Indeed, even as Moses tried to encourage the hordes of escapees from Egypt with this public prayer, every person over the age of accountability died in the desert because of their rebellion against God. Calab and Joshua were the only exceptions.
Perhaps, though, Moses was given a view of the future. He saw past the sleep-death that we all face, and was describing an eternal view of mankind; One in which those that have trusted in God during their lifetime, are protected from everlasting death as a punishment for rebellion against God.
“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” This metaphor was used almost verbatim by Jesus when He wept over Jerusalem, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I would have gathered you under my wings like a hen her chicks, but you would not.”
Oh, I hope that I will no longer refuse to be gathered under God’s protection, for He is my only hope for the future.