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Teach us to number our days aright, that we gain a heart of wisdom.

~Psalms 90:12

Lesson44-image001Materials Needed: None.

Notes to the Leader: Psalm 90 is one of the oldest pieces of poetry, written by Moses just before his death. The focus would lead us to believe that if someone was going away, they would spend their last moments giving those they love advice. Passing on those important learnings. Moses will pass on two very important points: Mankind’s sin and why we need God; and advice on how to pray to God.


If you knew that you were about to leave and not come back, what are the things you might tell your friends and family before you leave?

  • One typical response might be to tell the most important things you have learned and pass them on so others may benefit from your wisdom.

Section One: Our Eternal God

Have someone in your group read Psalm 90:1-2 and verse 4.

Moses is telling us that our true home is not a place but a person. Why does mankind struggle so with the concept of God?

  • Concepts like eternity, omnipresence, perfection, perfect justice, etc. are all beyond mankind’s ability to ever understand.
  • Mankind is not above nor equal to God.
  • Our intellect is insufficient to comprehend the full significance of our God.

There are two men in mountain figure. One views the mountain as a obstacle to overcome. The other man views the valley as his dominion.

How does this simple comparison relate to man’s perspective and God’s perspective?

  • Man sees the obstacles of the world as a mountain and encounters life as a barrier.
  • God views His world with full understanding since He was its creator and remains its sustainer.

Does the concept of time have any meaning to God? If God, therefore, is constant for ever, why does man worship the God that he wants rather than the God that is?

  • Man is imperfect and mortal. This weakness, caused by man’s separation from God, should be viewed as one more piece of evidence that man is here for God’s purpose, not God for man’s purpose.

Section Two: Man’s Mortality

Have someone in your group read Psalm 90:3 and 5-6

Do you think the world accepts its mortality?

  • Life is make cheap and expendable by Hollywood.
  • Beauty creams and health clubs flourish claiming to hold back the tides of time.
  • With age comes wisdom and it often seems that the only ones who think of their own mortality are the older people of our society.
  • Moses portrays our God as a knowing, feeling Being who does as he sees fit. Our trust in God is constructed upon how well we know Him. How do you get to know God?
  • Personal relationships are built over time. With each experience in life, each trusting lesson learned, the character of God is revealed to each of us in His own personal way. Through faith, hope, repentance, reliance on the Holy Spirit and a committed walk with Christ, we are promised that God’s loving parental nature will be revealed to us.

Section Three: The Sin of Mankind

Have someone in your group read Psalm 90:7-11.

What is the reason for man’s mortality?

(Read Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23) Man’s sin exposed him to death.

Some people refuse to believe that God will punish sin. What evidence do we have that this is a total misjudgment of God’s nature?

  • Biblical evidence – The Flood; the destruction of Sodom, the fall of Jerusalem.
  • Prophetic evidence – The last days of judgment as told in the Scriptures.
  • Just as paper and fire cannot coexist. God and His perfect holiness cannot mingle with the corruption of mankind without consuming it.

How is it then that God just doesn’t destroy mankind?

  • Because of the work of Christ on the cross. Our part is to acknowledge that we are lost sinners apart from divine grace, and to lay hold on salvation by faith. Through this, God becomes our Father rather than our Judge.

What happens when we reject the grace of God in Christ?

  • (Read Numbers 14:1-4) The children of Israel refused to enter Canaan and lived under the wrath of God. This is what Moses was referring to in verse 9 (Their average life span was 70 years). We live without hope, under the wrath of God and exposed to Satan’s domain without God’s protection.
  • Verse 11 was intended to inspire us to reverent fear of the intensity of God’s wrath and to holy living.

Section Four: Praying

While we all thank our God for His many blessings, Moses shows us it is also OK to pray for other things. There are five distinct petitions:

For Wisdom

Read Psalm 90:12 to your group.

What kind of wisdom should we pray for?

  • How to use our time wisely
  • Where do we come from?
  • Why are we here?
  • Where are we going?
  • Fear of the Lord
  • To shun evil
For Mercy

Read Psalm 90:13 to your group.

What kind of mercy should we pray for?

  • For our sin
  • For our impatience
  • For our failure to forgive others
For Joy

Read Psalm 90:14-15 to your group.

What is our joy?

  • Although sin deserves only judgment, God forgives and restores our fellowship with Him.
  • (Read Isaiah 61:3) Take comfort and gain joy in the knowledge that our God prefers mercy.
For Power

Read Psalm 90:16 to your group.

What kind of power are we to pray for?

  • Not so much power for us but a demonstration of power from God to build and strengthen our trust, hope and faith.
For Effectiveness

Read Psalm 90:17 to your group.

Can every Christian be effective for God?

  • Depends on who’s standards. If we trust in God and measure ourselves against His criteria, He assures us that we will be effective.
  • How do we transform ourselves to become effective workers?
  • (Read 2 Corinthians 3:18) Through the Word of God we must be transformed by a personal encounter with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Our faith includes that the work we will be provided will be for God’s purpose, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to us.
  • Read Psalm 127:1 to your group.
  • Can we establish our own agenda and plan to please God?
  • He must establish it for our work to be effective.

Bible Truth Being Taught

Mankind’s mortality is due to our sin. We have a God that will listen to us and provide us ways to please Him so that our mortality is given purpose.

Our Response

To live a life of gratitude with an awareness of God’s eternal values, and to strive to have God’s perspectives as we face troubles and sorrows.