Treasure Day 10 Kingdom Work: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) The author repeatedly uses terms like “years” or “days.” Why does the author emphasize finite periods of time?

2) In verses 11 and 13, the author contrasts God’s wrath and God’s compassion. What does this psalm tell us about these different qualities of God’s nature?

3) The author of this psalm includes the word “work” three times in verses 16-17. How do we define work in relation to God and humanity?

Psalm 90:10-17

10 Our lives last seventy years 

or, if we are strong, eighty years. 

Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; 

indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.

11 Who understands the power of your anger? 

Your wrath matches the fear that is due you.

12 Teach us to number our days carefully 

so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.

13 Lord—how long? 

Turn and have compassion on your servants.

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your faithful love 

so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us rejoice for as many days as you have humbled us, 

for as many years as we have seen adversity.

16 Let your work be seen by your servants, 

and your splendor by their children.

17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; 

establish for us the work of our hands— 

establish the work of our hands!

Original Intent

1) The author repeatedly uses terms like “years” or “days.” Why does the author emphasize finite periods of time?

Most scholars attribute the authorship of Psalm 90 to Moses, leader of the Israelites through their exodus from slavery in Egypt. Due to Israel’s disobedience and unfaithfulness to God, the Lord prevented adults 20 years of age and older from entering the Promised Land. “The LORD’s anger burned against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until the whole generation that had done what was evil in the LORD’s sight was gone.” (Numbers 32:13) With every passing of the older generation, Moses was visually reminded of Israel’s past sins against God and that he too would die before seeing the Promised Land. While we cannot definitively date when Moses wrote this psalm, we can make a few reasonable deductions based on the author’s emphasis on the fleeting nature of human life. If Moses did write Psalm 90 at the end of his life, this would have been right before Israelites’ next generation were to enter the Promised Land. Before his death, Moses wants his spiritual children (the younger Israelites he had been leading) to not make the same mistakes as their parents. By stressing finite periods of time like “years” or “days,” Moses reminds the Israelites that any amount of time on earth, whether “seventy years” or “eighty years,” are all gifts from God (verse 10). As Moses’ petition to God reflects, true wisdom comes from learning to “number our days carefully”. (verse 12)   


2) In verses 11 and 13, the author contrasts God’s wrath and God’s compassion. What does this psalm tell us about these different qualities of God’s nature?

The Israelites had witnessed God’s wrath firsthand when He unleashed the ten plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7-12), His destruction of the Egyptian army at the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14), and His subsequent denial of Israel’s entry into the Promised Land (Numbers 32:13). Israelites would have passed down these stories orally from generation to generation as a reminder of God’s justice and judgment. (Deuteronomy 6-7) Yet, it is important to note that as terrifying as God’s wrath is, Moses still prayed, “Your wrath matches the fear that is due you.” (verse 11, emphasis mine) Moses steadfastly trusted God’s wrath was evidence of His power and compassion for His chosen people. A holy, perfect, righteous God cannot let sin go unpunished. Like a father who disciplines his wayward child, God’s anger is an expression of His love for the Israelites. In this way, God’s continued faithfulness is an ongoing demonstration of His compassion and love for the Israelites despite their continued rebellion against Him. (verses 13-14)


3) The author of this psalm includes the word “work” three times in verses 16-17. How do we define work in relation to God and humanity?

It may help us go back to the beginning of this psalm to better understand what is God’s work. Context is vitally important when studying Scripture well. In verse 2, Moses writes, “Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God.” Like a mother, God gave birth, or life, to everything in all of creation. God’s “work” declares His “splendor” to the Israelites (“your servants”) and future generations (“their children”). (verse 16) Just like the mountains of verse 2, humanity declares the beauty and majesty of our eternal God. In a pre-Industrial society where humans made everything by hand, the Israelites were more keenly aware of their dependence on God to survive. Even during their 40-year wandering in the wilderness, “the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this immense wilderness…you have lacked nothing”. (Deuteronomy 2:7) Hence, Moses’ petitions God to “establish the work of our hands,” which he repeats twice. (verse 17) As God’s servants, the Israelites believed any work of their hands revealed God’s faithfulness to provide for them even in their darkest moments.

Everyday Application

1) The author repeatedly uses terms like “years” or “days.” Why does the author emphasize finite periods of time?

Humans are finite; we have bounds and limits. Even if we have a long life, we all face the same inevitable fate of death. Several psalmists dwelled on this reality. One reflects, “But despite his assets, mankind will not last; he is like the animals that perish.” (Psalm 49:12) Another writes, “As for man, his days are like grass — he blooms like a flower of the field; when the wind passes over it, it vanishes, and its place is no longer known.” (Psalm 103:15-16) While human bodies will fail, there is hope in the fact that unlike His creatures, our Creator God is infinite! “Our Lord is great, vast in power; his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5) The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says of God, “He is not indebted to His creation in any way, shape, or form but reigns and rules above us.” We can place our trust in Him precisely because He is worthy of our adoration and praise.


2) In verses 11 and 13, the author contrasts God’s wrath and God’s compassion. What does this psalm tell us about these different qualities of God’s nature?

While many modern worship songs dwell on God’s compassion and love for us, we often do not hear songs including descriptions of His wrath or anger. Can you imagine lyrics like “He poured out His furious anger” or “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and God struck him dead on the spot for his irreverence” in a song on your local Christian radio station? (Isaiah 42:25; 2 Samuel 6:7) Even though the Old and New Testaments are full of instances of God pouring out His anger on sinners, we tend to avoid those conversations with believers and non-believers. Why? Our culture pushes the non-biblical belief there really are not consequences to our behavior. However, we do a disservice to ourselves, and to those we share the Gospel with, when we do not emphasize humanity’s sinful nature and our desperate need for a Savior. The beauty of the Gospel is precisely that we are spared God’s wrath becauseGod loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Isn’t this remarkable? Because of God’s “faithful love” as exhibited in Jesus Christ, we can truly “shout with joy and be glad all our days.” (verse 14)

3) The author of this psalm includes the word “work” three times in verses 16-17. How do we define work in relation to God and humanity?

Jesus Christ spoke often of the work God sent Him to complete during His ministry on earth. In one telling exchange with His disciples, Jesus explains how a man is blind not because he or his parents sinned. Before healing the blind man, Jesus stated, “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3) Jesus’ work on earth was to do the “works of the Father”(John 10:37), pointing to Him, describing Him, and bringing Him glory through His obedient work. While we regularly fail in glorifying God with the work of our own hands, Jesus glorified His Father in everything He did. He lived the perfect life we could never live and atoned God’s wrath against humanity’s sin by taking our rightly deserved punishment upon Himself through His death on the cross. Now, God freely forgives every believer who places their full faith in Jesus Christ of every past, present, and future sin. The great nineteenth-century preacher Charles Spurgeon could not help but marvel at the finished work of Christ on the cross, “[He] relinquished His throne for a cross, that He might accomplish the redemption, work out the salvation of his Church — the people given to Him of God — and who, on the eve of that redemption, and with all the certainty of an actual atonement, could thus breathe His intercessory petition to heaven, ‘I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.’” Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for humanity’s sins was His ultimate work and an act of love. (Galatians 2:20). How does God’s finished work make you think differently about your own work? For me, knowing Christ did for me what I never could in attaining peace with God, reminds me I don’t need to be anxious over my own work as long as I am committing it to Him and His hands. Pray with me, like the psalmist, that He will establish the work of our hands!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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