Blessed are Those Who Mourn ..for They Shall be Comforted
The wrath of death make life necessarily brief! Fear of wrath and hope of bliss means, for sinner and saints, there is no more time to waste! Break with guilty past! Seize the blessed hope! Bear fruit while life lasts before you leave to be with Christ!
Psalm 90 in Psalter Sequence
Canonically positioned by Ezra at the beginning of Book IV of the Psalter, it provides a long-term solution to the trauma of the exile and Dynastic kingdom crisis.
The congregation returning from Babylon in the Second Temple Persian period now answers the call of the Prophets of the LORD, and at last turns back to Moses.
Past Anguish v1-11
A heart-rending, broken-hearted, cry of repentance bubbles up from the depths of pain of Israel’s shepherd-man-of-God on the plains of Moab in sight of Pisgah.
The prayer of this penitent, face-to-face, with the Eternal, Holy, God, confesses repeated, rebellious, Covenant breach and fully-deserved, all-consuming, terrifying, deadly, wrath.
For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? – Psalm 90:7-11
For the Generation who fell in sand, before Israel reached the Promised Land, there could be no escape – as Adam found out, there is no such thing as truly-secret sins with God. All is laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
For the Generation who fell by sword, the experience of Jews in Exile was the same – chastened by wrath both now unite, by the Spirit of Christ, to break with their guilt and come back home to God, their true and timeless Dwelling Place.
The stench of the deconstruction of death now gives way to the smile of the reconstruction of renewed covenant life and Israel’s everlasting hope
Present Anticipation v12-17
With selfless intercession, the brother of High Priest Aaron prays for the conquest generation – and by implication, he also supplicates, for the post-exilic remnant he knew would return, sorely-chastened, just as he had predicted.