Psalm Chapter 90  (KJV): Lord, set up your people – we live in your promise of joy!

Psalm Chapter 90  (KJV)

(Unless otherwise cited, the scriptural references in these devotionals are from the King James Version

of the Bible found on Psalm 90 – Public Domain edition.)


The psalmist speaks on behalf of the community of Israel. An attempt at an outline could be presented as follows.

  1. The psalmist begins with an earnest reflection on YHWH longstanding protection His people(vv. 1–2).
  2. Then a clear statement about human mortality (vv. 3–6) continues with a discourse about suffering and a brief life span.
  3. Finally, the psalmist ends the psalm with a request for God to mitigate their misery and bring them to a good place.

The psalmist opens the psalm with an indication that the people want Yah to teach them in such a manner that fosters wisdom (v. 12). The tone of the rest of the psalm places it firmly within the category of a lament.


You are our hiding place, Lord.

The term dwelling-place ( mā‘ôn in Hebrew) is used of animal dens (Job 37:8; 38:40; Ps. 104:22; Nah. 2:11, 12), suggesting a place remote from human habitation. 


Life is so fragile

3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

God’s nature is immutable. He has no beginning and no end. God lives outside of time and space (compare Ps 102:27; Isa. 41:4; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:4; 1 Tim. 6:16; Rev. 1:8). We know that when we are in a time crunch for a prayer to be answered, it appears as if God will never answer us. We just need to be still and be patient. Remember the story of Daniel and the angel Gabriel? Well, read it here! We experience life as a fragile, thin whisper of a thing. Within 1,000 years of human history, all sorts of pleasant and devilish things will happen, but for God, it is just like a nanosecond.

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.

David experienced the mortality of life. He knew what it was like to live in a desert. He could be resting on arid land, and then a few miles away, he could be in an oasis. Plants come, and plants go in the desert.  Humanity is just like that. Just read these verses of scripture to paint an internal picture of what David was visualizing (Ps 102:4, 11; 103:15; 129:6; Isa. 51:12). Can you see what he was speaking about? During this time of the 2020 World Pandemic, some people realize that life truly is short. But instead of resetting our mindsets, we are short-circuiting them. Because we don’t fully grasp that dead is dead and then there is a judgment, we are walking into the face of death full force without the comprehension of the consequences of dying without Christ. David has come to realize that life truly is short.  Now, let’s see what he is asking Yah to give him.

Give me a heart of wisdom, Yah.

7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 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. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

David has acknowledged the sins of his people and their lifeline limitations. He identifies that there are no sins that are hidden from God. He continues by notifying Yah that they will cease to exist because of His anger against his people. Then the psalmist tells Yah that he knows how long his human life is supposed to last 3 scores and 10  ( (20+20+20+10=70). But just in case they are really healthy and robust, they might only last until age 80. So, in the meantime, Yah, teach us how to apply our hearts to your word and become wise, not in our own conceit, but to have the ability to make the right choices and speak the right words at the right time.

Acquiesce, Please, Yah!

13 Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 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.

Now the psalmist is pleading for the community. He is begging Yah to ease up on the punishment of  His people. He wants Yah to replace the people’s misery with joy. He wants Yah to present HImself through the glory and splendor of the word of His hand and declares that this will lead his servants to praise him. He knows that only Yah can make their work fruitful, thus enabling them to worship him. 

Wrap up: One must remember that the psalmist is not aware of the Christ, His coming, and the promise of eternal that all believers have in Him. No matter how difficult this life may appear to be, we will experience eternal life at the end of this journey. It is not the end of our existence. Of course, one must be an individual who believes that Jesus Christ came, died, and was resurrected. He sits at the right hand of God and makes intercession for His chosen children. He knows our names friends.


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