Encouragement for Troubled Times
With the passing of Psalm 90, we enter into book four of the Psalms. That means that this is the fourth collection of Psalms to be entered into the Psalter (similar but not exactly the same as a hymn book) used for worship in the Temple. There was a problem, however, the temple lay in ruin. Although this Psalm had existed beforehand (we don’t really know when it was written or by whom), it was added to the Psalter in the later period of the Babylonian Exile.
As you may recall from your studious reading of the prophet Jeremiah and his other depressing contribution, Lamentations, the period of the Exile was awful. Due to the unrepentant sin of God’s people, God punished them exactly as He had promised to do so in Deuteronomy 28. Fortunately, after Deuteronomy 28 comes Deuteronomy 30.
1 And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, 2 and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. 5 And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.
All that to say, as we consider the context of when this Psalm was elevated to be included in Temple worship, we see a clear hope and expectation that God will fulfill his promises. Because God is King, He has the strength and nothing in creation can hinder Him (v. 1). He is was and always will be King (v. 2). Verses 3 & 4 indicate God’s might, but in contrast to the pagan god, Baal; so, God is greater than all other so-called gods. And God will fulfill His promises revealed in His Word according to His Holy standard (v. 5).
Let me ask you, is God bigger than your problems? The late exile period is marked by the hope of the coming Messiah. There is a lot written and fulfilled later in Christ at this time. When you have trials, when pain hits you, is your hope in Christ our King elevated or diminished? Satan uses pain to distract us, while God redeems our pain to illustrate His infinite supply of grace, mercy, steadfastness, and expand our view of His glory.
As you consider this Psalm, the fact that Christ is King, and how bad things were in Jerusalem when this Psalm was added, I hope you find comfort. I hope that your view of God increases through your struggles, instead of letting your struggles distract you from what God is at work doing in your life.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate