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.
Old Moses could certainly write a song. This one is chock full of majestic insights about God, and humbling admissions about humanity. It is clear that God is in control and we are not. Look at what Moses says about us humans:
1) We are made of dust and God in death returns us to what we were made (Psalm 90:3).
2) We are under God's wrath and anger because of our sin (Psalm 90:7-8).
3) We can't hide our secret sins from God (Psalm 90:8).
4) No matter how long we live, we know hard work and difficulty in our lives (Psalm 90:10).
Compare those four facts about us with what Moses has to say about God:
1) God exists before all Creation and always will exist unbound by time, from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2)... and we are just dust!
2) Time means nothing to God... it is inconsequential to Him even as we eke out 70 or 80 years. Millennia are an eye blink to the Almighty (Psalm 90:4).
3) God will put an end to sin in wrath and judgment (Psalm 90:7).
4) God has power that should be feared (Psalm 90:11).
Moses then takes these facts about God and man and reconciles them with a prayer that calls us to worship God and live in accountability to God. This is a summary of verses 12-17:
1) We should number our days to gain wisdom (Psalm 90:12). Life is brief. Keep God in focus.
2) We should rejoice in the steadfast love of our Lord (Psalm 90:14). This is known most by Christ's work for us on the cross.
3) God will gladden us in our difficulty (Psalm 90:15). Joy will come.
4) God's work and power can be seen in the lives of those who worship, fear, and serve Him (Psalm 90:16).
5) God's grace will establish us if we take these actions to heart (Psalm 90:17).