A Prayer of Moses the man of God
Imagine with me for just a moment. Imagine you were sitting with Moses near Mount Horeb tending sheep. This was the man who had had been rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter, then to have his own mother raise him until he was about 12 years old. Then at that time he left the care of his mother beginning life in Pharaoh’s palace, preparing to become a spiritual leader and future Pharaoh to the Egyptian people.
Whether it was his mother’s doing, or Moses had received instructions from God or some feeling that he was destined for greatness, however it was Moses felt that he was to become a great leader for the Israelite people. It would be his job to lead them back to the land that was promised to Abraham.
Trained in religious instruction, trained in military fighting and how to lead men, Moses had all promised to be a great leader in Egypt.
Often in life we get ahead of where we should be when we decide that we know better than God and take matters into our own hands. It was then that Moses saw an Israelite being beaten by his Egyptian task master and decided this would be the perfect time to become a leader of God’s people. Then, Moses up and killed the Egyptian and then buried him in the sand. Moses was 40 years old, in his prime and now running for his life from Pharaoh, who wanted to see Moses put to death for the crime he had committed.
Moses ran away to the land of Midian and while there, he tended sheep for Jethro who was a priest for the Most High God, the same God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.
Over the next forty years Moses tended sheep, and while tending sheep wrote the books of Job and Genesis along with Psalms 90. In fact, Psalms 90 was written just before Moses turned 80 and shortly before Moses had an encounter with God before the burning bush. Let’s reflect on this a moment. Moses was supposed to have become Pharaoh in Egypt and according to God he was to lead God’s people out of Egypt, but he is sitting and tending sheep, and as he looks back at what his life, what it could have been and what he felt were his prospects for the future, he penned these words which are one of the most beautiful as a melody of God’s power and purpose with undertones of decrying the frailty and transitoriness of man. On one hand, Moses was discouraged at his failures and what his life could have been. But on the other hand, he has learned an appreciation for God that most never see or encounter.
Nations may change, grow old, and perish; but God remains unchangeable eternal in His majesty. Satisfaction, gladness, success in work must all come from the right relation of man in his frailty to the eternal Lord. This thought comes through when Moses put pen to paper, but more important it the prayer in the form of a poem that is filled with the awesomeness of God and his care for his people even when that person or people are discouraged.
Lord, you have been our
dwelling place in all
2 Before the mountains were brought
Or ever You had formed the earth
and the world,
Even from everlasting to
everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man to destruction,
And say, “Return, O children of
4 For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
5 You carry them away like a flood;
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass
which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and
In the evening it is cut down and withers.
7 For we have been consumed by
And by Your Wrath we are terrified.
8 You have set our iniquities before
Our secret sins in the light of Your
9 for all our days have passed away
In Your Wrath:
We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and
For it is soon cut off, and we fly
11 Who knows the power of Your
For as the fear of You, so is Your
12 so teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of
13 Return, O LORD!
And have compassion on Your servants.
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your
That we may rejoice and be glad
All our days!
15 Make us glad according to the days
in which You have afflicted us
The years in which we have seen
16 Let Your work appear to Your
and Your glory to their children
17 And let the beauty of the LORD our
God be upon us,
And establish the work of our
Hands for us;
Yet, establish the word of our
Moses being nearly 80 years old, as he thought back on his life, was pretty discouraged and the beginning of this poem I can feel and hear his discouragement and disappointment. Yet by the end of the Poem, Moses is calling upon God to use him in whatever way, that God sees fit.
No matter out circumstances in life, God can use your circumstances and turn the negatives in our life into positives. We are often frail and weak falling into temptation and suffering the consequences for our action. Moses fell to temptation and killed a man, looking back at his life, he felt sorry for himself, yet he surrendered his will to God and over the next 40 years, he was the greatest leader of mankind the world has ever seen.
We all sin and as Paul says in Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the list goes on and on of people that were sinners and often failed falling short of God’s glory, but they were still used by God for mighty works.
Today, no matter your circumstances, do not give up, do not give in! Moses was discouraged and lamented the fact in Psalm 90, yet God used Moses as Moses surrendered his will to God and God will use you and I in his service too when we surrender to him.
Don’t give up, hang in there and remember, God Loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). If he didn’t he wouldn’t have sent His son to live and die among us.