Psalm 90–Establish the Work of Our Hands

imageMake us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us. (Ps 90:15)

People with unrealistic expectations or an outlook that is unfettered by the reality of scriptures portray a life that is without difficulty. In their view, the seventy, eighty or ninety years of life we are given is to be one great, long carnival of corn dogs and tilt-a-whirls. Adventure and sensual pleasures day after day without any hint of trouble shadowing the fun. Your best life now is not being lived right if adversity shows its face.

On the other hand, those of us with a more grounded view of life know that trouble and satisfaction go hand in hand in this life. We live in a fallen world in which sin has woven its way into the very fabric of life, leaving nothing untouched. The psalmist expresses this reality in Psalm 90, contrasting the brevity of life with the ongoing struggle that seems to mark it. Why God, he exclaims, why can’t you provide a little more balance of pleasure to pain to lessen the agony?

This psalm must be read in tandem with its brother, Psalm 91. They are two sides of the same coin. One vents a frustration with ongoing anxiety, the other expresses the knowledge that security is found only in the Lord. The balance between the good and bad of life is centered in the trust that the God of the universe has everything well in hand. Any momentary pleasures or travail are simply a part of His unfolding plan. Difficult to accept in the midst of one and seemingly too brief in the other, when we center our being in Him, we trust that each has its purpose in the plan.

Grace and peace to you.


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