Teach Us To Number Our Days
Passage: Psalm 90–90
Community Group Questions: For Every Season - Psalm 90 - "Teach Us To Number Our Days"
Printing Instructions: To print these discussion questions for use in your Community Group or other study, first highlight the text, then right click and select "print" from the dropdown menu that appears.
Read Psalm 90:1-17 aloud as a group and then work through the following questions:
- As the heading indicates, this Psalm was written by Moses. Moses may have composed Psalm 90 as he reflected on the Israel’s 40 year wandering through the desert, under the judgment of God. Why is Moses uniquely qualified to write a Psalm dealing with the themes he lays out here? Why do Moses’ words seem more compelling the older we get?
- Verses 1-2 speak of the eternal nature of God. He’s “from everlasting to everlasting,” and therefore, God always has been and always will be. He created the universe, including time, and therefore, God exists outside of time as we know it. What does it mean when Moses says God is a “dwelling place” for his people? Have you found God to be a dwelling place for your life? How so?
- Verses 3-6 speak of man’s frailty in contrast with God’s eternity. Because of man’s sin, and God’s corresponding curse (see Genesis 3:19), God returns every man and woman back to dust in death. Modern culture teaches us that death is “natural.” It’s simply the welcomed “circle of life.” However, this view fails to account for the sting, and pain, and “unnaturalness” of death that we intuitively feel. How does the view of death expressed in Psalm 90:3-6 contrast with our culture’s perspective? Why does the biblical view of death give us more hope than the secular view ever could?
- Verses 7-11 reflect on man’s sin and God’s corresponding judgment and wrath, expressed in the curse of death. Verse 11 urges us to consider death’s power, and let it drive us to reflect on the God we’ve offended. In other words, death is a powerful apologist, arguing for the existence of God. Do you think of death as a powerful preacher? How have you seen death preach to your own heart, and the hearts of people around you?
- In light of God’s eternality and man’s frailty, and God’s wrathfulness against man’s sinfulness, Moses makes four requests in verses 12-17. First, in verse 12, he says, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom!” What does this request mean? How would numbering our days rightly make us more joyful, focused, and fruitful in life?
- Moses also asks for pity in verse 13. He wants God to relent from his wrath against Israel as they wander in the desert. However, it also seems that Moses is asking God to reverse the curse of death that has plagued humanity from Adam until now! How did God ultimately answer Moses’ request in Christ (see Galatians 3:13)? How does Jesus give us ultimate hope for our brief, earthly lives?
- Next, in verses 14-15, Moses asks God to “satisfy” him with His steadfast love. That word “satisfy” means to be full, like feeling stuffed after a delicious dinner. What does it look like practically to satisfy our souls with God on a daily basis?
- Finally, in verses 16-17, Moses asks God to put his “favor” upon the people, and “establish” the work of their hands. How does it change our daily work when we know that God sees us and is pleased with what we do (see Colossians 3:23-24)?
- Taking a look at this Psalm as a whole, what are you learning about the ultimate meaning of life?
Prayer suggestion: After sharing specific prayer requests, pray through Psalm 90 as a group, line by line, worshiping God for his eternal nature, confessing your frailty and sin, asking God to teach us to number our days, and thanking him for solving the curse through Christ.