Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night.
Break through our clouded dawn again!
Only you can satisfy our hearts,
filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.
We’ve been overwhelmed with grief;
come now and overwhelm us with gladness.
Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight. [Psalm 90:14-15]
Psalm 40, as a whole, exists to uplift Christians during their lives on Earth. You can read the whole psalm here. Leading up to the verses above, the psalm is kind of drawing a line between life on earth and the fullness of heaven. It contrasts the nature of the world with the nature of God. The Psalmist is recounting the difficulties and the challenges that come along with being human.
At first glance, this entire Psalm is interesting to read because it almost seems discouraging at first because it talks about the brevity of life, the harshness of Earth, and all of that stuff. When you read it over again and apply some context, it becomes something really encouraging!
A lot of super smart scholars believe that this Psalm is shadowing the story of Moses in Exodus 32. In fact, some scholars believe Moses is the author of Psalm 90. Exodus 32 is one of the first examples of intercession in the Bible. Intercession is basically a fancy way to describe prayer that is on behalf of someone/something else. It’s really important in Exodus because God was angry with His people because they were worshipping false idols. Even after He had faithfully led them through the desert, they lost faith when they were waiting for Moses to come down from Mount Sinai. When God became angry, Moses interceded for the Israelites and asked God to have mercy on them. And guess what? The Lord did have mercy on them. Moses’ prayers were impactful.
So when this Psalm says things like “Break through our clouded dawn again!” it is actually a form of intercession. Why is that important?
Because God Listens and Responds
The Psalmist here is petitioning for God to make our lives on Earth look more like Heaven. He is asking for God to make his reality our reality. This is sweet because God, by nature, wants good things for us. He desires for us to live in abundance (read John 10 if you wanna know more about that). The Psalmist also recognizes that the pathway from our grief and suffering to fullness and joy is God. This Psalm illustrates that one of the best ways we can experience the things of God is to ask for them.
When your prayer life develops, your intimacy and friendship with God grows exponentially. As you are reading through this series, a good exercise would be to pray through the Psalms. Taking the time to talk to God and process through what you read is one really beneficial way to deepen your relationship with God.
Hey God! God, I thank you for the way you have been speaking and responding to your people. Help Psalm 90 to mark my life and my prayers. Increase my faith in you and your faithfulness. Amen.