Psalm 90 and Moses' Honesty Before God

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Year two at the Leadership Development Network (LDN) is on the New Testament. Our first assignments were to connect the OT to the NT.

Moses is a good candidate for this connection. His life and psalm show a need for a Saviour but also display a prototype of Jesus living through him.

Moses lived his life between these bookends, bumping up against them both for good and bad throughout his many days. He lived a long life and so experienced the full span of God’s mercy and justice. He felt the conundrum of God ordained suffering, and the scandalous condition of human free will trumping God’s original design intent.

There is Moses a haughty exasperated leader striking the rock to yield its life giving water. And what was God to do, act impotent before the Israelites or let the living waters flow for his children and deal with Moses later, severely? 

And so the result is no promised land for the man of God. He could climb that hill and take a look but he was not going there, ever.

But who can blame Moses, a mere human. He had already lived through one generation of Israelites (with more to come) that were enough to drive God to tears and near genocide. And who was there offering his life to spare God’s people? Jesus is the answer. No, actually Moses!

In his Psalm 90 prayer his internal conflicts with God come out, his life lessons, and the overarching mercy of God. There is a life of contradictions in this Moses, and to be honest this is a comfort to me.

He longs to be taught by God (humble) and dares to tell God how to behave (arrogant). His personality type would be off the charts of Carl Jung.

Maybe this is why God loved him so much and could make full use of him with his personality. He was himself before God and yet he was called a man of God. Moses’ life shows these are not mutually exclusive.

Verses 7 and 8 are tough verses for me; there is little of God’s mercy and forgiveness there. It seems like Moses is accusing God of keeping a closet with our sins in it, open for viewing. Is God reminding himself to send Jesus? Is Moses longing for Messiah?

Verse 13: Relent O Lord, how long will it be? Have compassion on us, and then satisfy us with your unfailing love. Do I hear a hint of Jesus, an even-better-than-Moses Jesus?

I resonate with Moses in this prayer; his unvarnished view of life, yes to the borders of cynicism and despair and to the tops of the everlasting mountains.

Here is a very honest look at life and death, a snapshot of a perfect God trying to live with sinful people; and the other way around. You know there is going to be hurt feelings and friction along the way.

Old Testament Moses produces the tension between faith and life that every Christian must experience and come to grips with. Moses got it and is a witness for us, for he declares that God’s unfailing love gives him opportunity to sing for joy and be glad all his (many) days.

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