Gripped by the Greatness of God

An Exposition of Psalm 90:1-17

Today we are going to head back to the Old Testament and spend the morning in the Psalter. The Psalms are essentially songs that were penned in a variety of settings. Some were personal prayers, others were designed for corporate worship. Some Psalms were laments (crying out to God about suffering and pain) others were psalms of praise (extoling the greatness of God), psalms of imprecation (calling down judgment on God’s enemies).

We sing them, pray them, meditate upon them. And we are instructed by them. But the Psalms instruct us in a different manner than other parts of Scripture because they are poetic expressions of the heart.

It is different than the letters written to the churches, it is different than the narrative (story) portions of the Bible, and it is different from prophecy or doctrinal portions of the Bible. It is deeply experiential.

And so, when we encounter Psalms it is a window into rich expressions of theology. We see what it looks like for God’s people to relate to their God.

This morning we will be in Psalm 90. Psalm 90 or at least portions of it are well known. And the theme of this psalm is the greatness of God contrasted with human limitations. Psalm 90 is the only psalm we have that was written by Moses, making it the oldest psalm.

The psalm breaks down into two main sections—a consider of God’s character compared with man in vv. 1-11, and then a prayer in vv. 12-17. I made one more subsection and broke this into three sections.

Moses Offers a Precious, Three-Part Psalm to God

  1. Praises God’s eternality compared to our limitations (1-6)
  2. Ponders God’s wrath in light of our unworthiness (7-11)
  3. Prays for God’s favor because of our neediness (12-17)