The Psalm of Moses
Moses was the author of Psalm 90. The roughness of style, the signature of antiquity, the limitlessness of theme, the recurrent identity with the wording of Deuteronomy are all factors that point to Moses as the author of this song. Psalm 91 has been designated as a song of God’s power and resolve, with traces that point to the weakness and frailty of humanity.
The author states that God is from eternity in the past to eternity in the future (Ps. 93:2; Micah 5:2). He is “the Ancient of days” (Dan. 7:9). Even the longest life of Methuselah (Gen. 5:27) would be, in comparison with the eternity of God, but as a single day. Nations and generations may come and go. But the Almighty remains unchanged, eternal in His glory (Hab. 1:12; Prov. 8:23).
Life passes with the rapidity of a sigh; no sooner it comes than it is gone. Even if life is extended to the age of 80, it seems but a short time, and humans fly away as in a dream (Job 20:8). And the mere lengthening of life does not guarantee happiness (Eccl. 12:1). And because only God sees the end from the beginning, we should ask for grace to work as if we saw that end. We need to contemplate life’s shortness, that we may be wise in using the time that God gives us for our eternal good (Ps. 90:12).
Then, the Psalmist moves from the eternity of God and the passing life of man. And he proceeds to write about the weakness and sins of people as the reason for God’s displeasure. But he assures that the godly person who understands the eternity of God and esteems his own life as related to the Eternal, will have honorable and worthy life. For God will help him to carry out his work in such a way that it may be blessed of Him (Ps. 90:17).
Thus, as we reflect on the beauty of the character of God, we are “transfigured by His grace” and “the glory of the Lord our God” is shed “upon us.” And the Psalmist assures us of God’s help. For he affirms that after a night of sorrow and suffering (Ps. 90:14), the Lord will give a morning of joy and peace (Ps. 143:8).
Psalm 91 is perhaps the most glorious poem ever recorded on the vanity of human experience, in the light of the poet’s rich faith in God’s promises. Isaac Taylor the English philosophical and historical writer, artist, and inventor called Psalm 90 “the most sublime of human compositions, the deepest in feeling, the loftiest in theological conceptions, the most magnificent in its imagery.”
In His service,