Theme: Sin’s Price
This week’s psalm shows us how to look at our earthly life from the Bible’s point of view, with God as the center and focus of it.
Scripture: Psalm 90:1-17
The third section of Psalm 90 (vv. 7-12) recognizes that man’s greatest problem is not just his frailty, that is, that he exists for only a short bit of time and is then no more. It is that he is also a sinner and is subject to the just wrath of God. In fact, it is sin that is the cause of his death and misery. Moses must have been thinking of the fall of Adam and Eve when he wrote this (remembering that he also wrote Genesis 3), as well as of his own sin in striking the rock and of God’s judgment which kept him from the promised land.
Verses 7, 8 and 11 comprise a profound set of statements. For not only has Moses set the weakness of man and the shortness of his life against the grandeur and eternity of God, but here he also traces man’s mortality to its roots, seeing death as a judgment for sin. We might think that he would contrast man’s sin with God’s holiness, just as he has contrasted man’s mortality with God’s eternity. But that is not what he is trying to do in these verses. He is trying to show that death is linked to sin and is caused by it. We die because Adam sinned (see Rom. 5:12-21), and because we sin ourselves. Are you aware that sin always leads to death? To the death of dreams, hopes, plans, relationships, our health and eventually even to that ultimate spiritual death which is a separation from God forever? If you are aware of this, you will not treat sin lightly, as many do. You will say with David, “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults” (Ps. 19:12). You will pray, “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me” (v. 13). You will strive to live an upright life before God.
The fourth section of Psalm 90 (vv. 13-17) is an appeal to God for an outpouring of his grace, that we may be satisfied with God himself and that our work might endure as something of lasting value even though we ourselves quickly pass away.
What is the root of man’s mortality? How should this awareness direct us?
Of what is the fourth section of the psalm an appeal?
Reflection: Has sin ever lead to the death of a dream of yours? What did you do, or can do now, to find your satisfaction in God and receive his blessing? How is God calling you to live an upright life before him?