Psalm 90: Life of Short Duration

Why is it difficult to comprehend how God is eternal, with no beginning or end?

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Psalm 90:1–2 A prayer by Moses, a man of God.
Through all generations, Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before you created Earth and raised the land and mountains, you have always been. And you will always be, God eternal.
King James
Psalm 90:1–2 <A Prayer of Moses the man of God.> Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

How much control does God exercise over how long we will live? What effect do our actions have?

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Psalm 90:3 At your command, we die and return to dust.
King James
Psalm 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

How does God’s perception of time differ from ours?

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Psalm 90:4 But you live forever, having all time at your disposal. For you, a thousand years is the same as a day, passing like a few hours of night.
King James
Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Why might Christians want to avoid thinking or talking about the day they will die?

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Psalm 90:5–6 People are swept away like a flood, here today and gone tomorrow. They are like grass, sleeping through the night and awake the next morning, flourishing for the day but cut down and withered in the evening.
King James
Psalm 90:5–6 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

Which is the greater motivator, the desire to avoid Hell or to enjoy Heaven? Why?

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Psalm 90:7 Your displeasure with us is overwhelming. We are terrified by your anger.
King James
Psalm 90:7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

How does the consequence of sinful desires compare to sinful acts?

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Psalm 90:8 You see our impure thoughts and sinful desires, exposed by the light of your presence.
King James
Psalm 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

We might hide our thoughts and desires from people. How do we know they can’t be hidden from God?

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Genesis 6:5 God saw how wicked that people on Earth had become, how their thoughts and motives were consistently evil.
1 Samuel 16:7 God said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his good looks or impressive height, because I have rejected him. My eyesight is different from people’s, because they consider a person’s appearance, but I look at who they are on the inside.
Psalm 90:8 You see our impure thoughts and sinful desires, exposed by the light of your presence.
King James
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Psalm 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

What impact can a day have upon a year? Why?

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Psalm 90:9 Our days that pass in your anger add up to years of moaning.
King James
Psalm 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

What is the best legacy that we can leave for future generations?

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Psalm 90:10–11 So we live for sixty years, even eighty if our strength lasts. Yet our strength is soon lost in labor and sorrow. Then we’re gone.
Who can measure the power of God’s anger? It exceeds our greatest fear.
King James
Psalm 90:10–11 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

What are the characteristics of a “meaningful” life?

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Psalm 90:12 Help us recognize the small number of our days, Lord, so we may choose wisely.
King James
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

What makes waiting on the Lord so difficult?

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Psalm 90:13–14 How long will it be, Lord, before you turn from your anger? Have compassion for your servants.
Satisfy our hunger for your love so we live our days in happiness.
Isaiah 40:31 Those who put their trust in the Lord will find strength in him. They will be like eagles, soaring upward when they spread their wings. They will be like the runner who runs the full distance without getting tired. No matter how far they walk, they won’t become exhausted.)
King James
Psalm 90:13–14 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

In consideration of the apostle Paul’s experiences during his missionary journeys, what joyfulness and suffering might we reasonably expect?

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Psalm 90:15–16 Let us live as many joyful days in the future as we have suffered in the past. May your servants see your miracle-working power. Let their children know how great you are.
King James
Psalm 90:15–16 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

How often might people miss seeing the miracle-working hand of God at work?

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Psalm 90:17 Let the majesty of our Lord God and his wonderful acts be clearly visible as his purpose is fulfilled through our hands.
King James
Psalm 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.