Journey Through The Scriptures

Psalms of Wisdom and Instruction

Lesson 6: The Frailty of Life and Our Need for God

(Scripture to Read: Psalm 90:1–17)

Psalm 90 carries a superscription that attributes it to Moses, making this psalm centuries older than the others. These words speak to people in every generation because they contrast so powerfully the brevity and frailty of human life with the eternal existence of God. The Bible is unfailingly honest in portraying life as a brief period during which each of us make our appearance on the stage of history and then are gone.

Moses understood this fact, and he expanded on this thought by saying that as weak and imperfect beings, we spend our days under the shadow of God’s wrath. This certainly does not mean faith has no value, or there is no benefit to us in placing our faith and hope in God. Exactly the contrary, in fact! Because our God is forgiving and filled with compassion toward His creatures, we can enjoy His unfailing love and spend our days singing for joy in His favor. Moses was not a pessimist, but a realist.

Life is short, so embrace the wisdom of God and live life to the fullest as God provides and blesses.

Study Questions

  1. Was Moses being morbid when he spoke so forthrightly about the brevity of human life?
  2. God's wrath is a reality we must deal with. What does God's wrath reveal about His character?
  3. How can we learn the lesson of Psalm 90:12?
  4. Why did Moses teach us to pray that God will "establish" the work of our hands?

Something to Think About

Psalm 90 may seem to be a bit pessimistic on a first reading. But closer study reveals that Moses was encouraging us to live life to the fullest under God’s direction and blessing. We can ask God for His mercy each day, confident that He will answer our prayer.