You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. – Psalm 90:3-4
Psalm 86 is a Psalm of David that breaks neatly into thirds. The first stanza is a prayer that the LORD will hear and in the conclusion David lays out his concerns. The Psalm pivots around the middle verses: “There is none like you among the gods, O LORD, nor are there any works like yours… I give thanks to you, O LORD my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is Your steadfast love toward me; You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. Pay attention to this pattern throughout the Psalms: whether a cry, a lament, or a celebration, the composers keep their focus on the LORD.
Pay attention also to the wild swings of emotion throughout the next few chapters. Psalm 87 is a celebration of Zion, while Psalm 88 cries out “O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me?” Listen closely to discern the causes of the writer’s grief, but also notice his belief that this misfortune is a manifestation of the LORD’s wrath. And Psalm 89 is an exuberant tribute: “I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD forever…” before turning, again, to the familiar question: “How long, O LORD? Will You hide yourself forever?”
Psalms 91 through 93 are more general verses of praise and thanksgiving, and our reading pivots abruptly around Psalm 90. This is the first Psalm of Book Four, and it is attributed to Moses, “The Man of God.” The LORD’s sovereignty stands in the background of this contemplation but foremost on Moses’ mind is man’s mortality. Listen thoughtfully to this poem, consider its wisdom, and imagine its significance in this book of worship.
Our verses for this week are Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalms 86 through 93. Now let’s read it!
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.