Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 90. (MsgB)
A Prayer of Moses, Man of God
God, it seems You’ve been our home forever; long before the mountains were born,
Long before You brought earth itself to birth, from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—You are God.
We live for seventy years or so (with luck we might make it to eighty),
And what do we have to show for it? Trouble. Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard.
Let Your servants see what You’re best at— the ways You rule and bless Your children.
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!
If the ancient scriptures are accurate, Psalm 90 is, by far, the oldest song in our biblical collection of 150 prayer-songs gathered for all time. Scholars over the centuries have questioned the authorship of Moses, believing it was written at a much later time than Moses’ day.
The famed 19th century bible expositor, Charles Spurgeon, said this when addressing the authorship issue surrounding Psalm 90…
“Many attempts have been made to prove that Moses did not write this Psalm, but we remain unmoved in the conviction that he did so. The condition of Israel in the wilderness is so preeminently illustrative of each verse, and the turns, expressions, and words are so similar to many in the Pentateuch, that the difficulties suggested are, to our mind, light as air in comparison with the internal evidence in favour of its Mosaic origin.”
There you have it, my friends. Spurgeon goes with Moses. I think I’ll stick with him.
In fact, this is not the only place in our Bibles where we have a song of Moses recorded for us. A quick look back in Israel’s history finds two other major song-prayers that are accredited to this great deliverer of God’s people. In Exodus 15, we find Moses pulling out his guitar and celebrating God’s magnificent miracle of deliverance as He brought His people through the Red Sea, escaping the wrath of Pharaoh and the Egyptian armies.
I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. Both horse and driver He has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
Then, we flip over to Deuteronomy 32, forty years later, and we find another top-ten song of Moses. A 43-verse masterpiece written on the very day Moses departs this earth for his heavenly assignment in eternity.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.
Could it be that our old friend, Moses, had more hidden gifts under his flowing robes than we might first imagine?
Oh yeah, for sure, Moses was the man of God who stepped out in faith to become the guy who is credited with leading Israel out of slavery. Certainly Moses was the man who confronted Pharaoh, challenging the world’s greatest powerhouse with his simple faith in God. And yes, it was Moses who ascended God’s Mountain, bringing us His Holy Commandments, setting in place for all time the standard of holiness God expects from His people.
But isn’t it neat to know that Moses was also a great songwriter on the side? Just think about it?
Moses. Man of God who composed three major songs that are recorded for us in the Bible.
And if that weren’t enough, over in Revelation 15, John tells us that at the end of time, when the angels break forth from heaven, bringing God’s glory to the earth, there we will all stand singing yet another of Moses’ tunes…
Revelation 15: 1-4. I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are Your ways, King of the nations.
Who will not fear You, Lord, and bring glory to Your name?
For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.
Not bad, Moses. Not bad.
Apparently your song-writing prowess has even caught the attention of the Lamb. Pretty impressive stuff for an old sheepherder from the far side of the desert.
My prayer: Father, I see the timeless lyrics of Moses, the man of God, and am encouraged that his songs, written so very long ago, are not forgotten, but will be sung once again at the final advent of the Lamb of God. Jesus, may I be found singing Moses’ hymns of lament and his songs of praise here during this time in the middle called the ‘Last Days’. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Psalm 90 asks God to “let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!” It’s obvious that God has answered this prayer over the life and work of Moses. What might it look like for this prayer to be answered over my life…or yours?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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