Psalm 90

Talks for Growing Christians

Moses Teaches us How We Should Consider Life

Psalm 90

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Lesson Number 66

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Life is short because fallen man is frail.
  2. Life is short because fallen man is sinful.

Practical Application

  1. Let us number our days.
  2. Let us enjoy God's lovingkindness!


  1. Why do we say this was probably the earliest of the Psalms?
  2. Discuss the possible occasion of this psalm.
  3. What great contrast is drawn between verses 1-2 and verses 3-6?
  4. What misconception is sometimes drawn from Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8?
  5. List two principles from the Bible regarding death and sin.


  1. Since Psalm 90 was written by Moses, it was written very early in history. We can only say it was "probably" the earliest, since there are several anonymous psalms about which we don't know who wrote them or when.
  2. Psalm 90 was most likely written during the wilderness wanderings of the Children of Israel. Moses would have observed a lot of people dying in the wilderness during that forty year period. As Moses reflected on these deaths, he wrote this psalm about the shortness of life because of man's frailty and man's sin.
  3. The first verses of this psalm emphasize the truth that God is eternal. In verses 3-6, the frailty of man is brought out, in great contrast to the eternal God.
  4. Some people use this as a formula that you can substitute 1000 year blocks of time for any listing of days that you find on Scripture. No, this is Bad Hermeneutics! The point here and in 2 Peter is that God is not bound by time as we are, because He is outside of time.
  5. The Bible clearly teaches that God is angry concerning sin and that death is the result of sin. The Bible also teaches that life can be shortened because of sin. There is even disciplinary death of believers because of sin, as was the case with the Children of Israel.


  1. Discuss how Moses' experience in the wilderness of seeing an estimated 1,000 people die each week would have ingrained in his mind that man is frail. Do you grasp the frailty of human life? What experience has helped you understand this better?
  2. Because life is short, we should set our priorities in line with the teaching of God's Word and use our time wisely. Discuss personal ways that you are "numbering your days."


  1. Lovingkindness is God's steadfast, unfailing, and loyal love. Even though life is short because of sin and its consequences, we can appreciate and enjoy the goodness of God in everyday life!

Key Verses

  • "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." Psalm 90:2
  • "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
  • "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." Psalm 90:17

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