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Psalm 90:10 & meaning...


days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty years; yet their pride is but labor and sorrow, for it passes quickly, and we fly away.

Psalm 90:10


You have set our iniquities before you,

   our secret sins in the light of your presence.

For all our days have passed away in your wrath.

   We bring our years to an end as a sigh.

Psalm 90 [10.] The days of our years are seventy,

   or even by reason of strength eighty years;

   yet their pride is but labor and sorrow,

   for it passes quickly, and we fly away.

Who knows the power of your anger,

   your wrath according to the fear that is due to you?

So teach us to number our days,

   that we may gain a heart of wisdom.


In this verse, the psalmist reflects on the fleeting nature of human life, using the metaphor of days to symbolize the span of our existence on earth. The psalmist observes that the typical lifespan of a human being is relatively short—seventy years, or perhaps eighty for those who are strong and healthy. Despite any efforts to prolong life or achieve greatness, human pride and accomplishments ultimately amount to "labor and sorrow."

The imagery of "flying away" evokes the transient nature of life, emphasizing its brevity and impermanence. Just as a bird takes flight and disappears from view, so too our lives on earth are fleeting and ephemeral (Job 14:1-2; Psalm 103:15-16). This recognition of life's transience serves as a sobering reminder of the fragility of human existence and the need for humility before God.

In the broader context of Psalm 90, this verse occurs within a prayer attributed to Moses, the man of God. Moses reflects on the eternal nature of God and contrasts it with the fleeting nature of human life. He acknowledges the reality of human sinfulness and mortality, emphasizing the brevity of life in light of God's everlasting presence and sovereignty (Psalm 90:1-2, Psalm 90:12).

Moses' prayer resonates with themes found throughout the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, which grapples with the existential questions of human existence and the search for meaning in the face of life's uncertainties (Ecclesiastes 1:2; Ecclesiastes 12:13).

As we reflect on Psalm 90:10, we are reminded of the importance of perspective in understanding the nature of human life. While our earthly existence may be marked by toil, suffering, and the inevitability of death, our lives are ultimately held in the hands of a sovereign and eternal God.

This verse challenges us to consider the brevity of life and the significance of how we use our time on earth. It calls us to cultivate wisdom, humility, and a proper perspective on our mortality, recognizing the limited nature of our days and the need to live each moment with purpose and intentionality (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Moreover, Psalm 90:10 points us to the hope of eternity found in God's promises. While our earthly lives may be fleeting, we have the assurance of God's unfailing love and the hope of eternal life in His presence (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). In Christ, we find the ultimate answer to life's brevity and the promise of a future beyond the confines of this world (John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

In conclusion, Psalm 90:10 invites us to ponder the fleeting nature of human life and to seek wisdom and perspective in light of God's eternal truths. It challenges us to live each day with humility, gratitude, and purpose, recognizing the brevity of our days and the hope of eternity found in God alone.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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