KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.” (Psalm 103:15-17)
Psalm 90 begins Book IV of the Psalms, which continues through Psalm 106 and includes both the royal praise psalms (95-100) and the historical psalms (104-106), as well as others. This cluster of seventeen psalms is the shortest of the five sections in the Book of Psalms. Collected about two to three hundred years after the first three books, it probably was added during the time when Israel returned to the land under Ezra (458 B.C.) and Nehemiah (445 B.C.). Only seven psalms in the group are titled, and all are anonymous except for Psalm 90 (ascribed to Moses) and Psalms 101 and 103, which were written by David.
According to its superscription, Psalm 90 — the first psalm in this section — is a prayer of Moses. This makes it the oldest in the entire Book of Psalms, as none of the other psalms were written prior to the time of David. It is the only psalm ascribed to the great leader of Israel who delivered God’s chosen people from bondage in Egypt. Since the psalm is primarily a plea for God to restore the Israelites to favor, it likely was composed as the forty years of wandering in the wilderness came to a close. The psalm emphasizes the brevity of human life, and for that reason, it is often included in funeral programs.
Psalms 93 through 99 are considered by Bible scholars to be prophetic, foretelling some of the works of the coming Messiah.
According to the Jewish tradition, this fourth book compares to Moses’ fourth book, the Book of Numbers. These psalms frequently highlight Israel’s failure and time spent in the wilderness, echoing the theme of the Book of Numbers. The Book of Numbers deals with Israel’s relationship to other nations, and Book IV also alludes to God’s Kingdom in relation to other nations. The most frequently used name for God in this section is Jehovah (Lord).
As we come before God with praise for His many benefits, and spend time getting to know Him personally, our desire to live in a manner that pleases Him will grow.