Psalm 90:8 – Thou hast SET our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
Psalm 103:10-12 – He hath not DEALT with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities…As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
First of all, ‘to set’ and ‘to deal’ are two different things. Clearly Psalm 90:8 talks about our sins being set before God, in other words, not hidden from God; while Psalm 103:10-13 talk about God’s reaction to our sins, that He doesn’t deal with us based on our sins (grace).
Secondly, though both passages are recorded in the book of Psalms, they weren’t written by the same author. Psalm 90 was Moses’ prayer, while Psalm 103:10-13 was David’s Psalm.
So what’s going on here?
Moses’ prayer was based on his knowledge of the Law and his experience with the children of Israel; they were stiff-necked people who disobeyed the Law time and time again. He knew that God knew about their disobedience.
David’s psalm, in other hand, was prophetic. Let’s see what he said elsewhere to understand it more, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psalm 32:1-2).
This was fulfilled in the New Testament by Jesus, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Grace made it possible for God not to deal with us according to our sins (Romans 6:14, 8:1-3; Ephesians 2:8-9) because Jesus paid the full penalty of/for our sins by His sacrificial death on the cross (John 3:16).
Paul wrote, “3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:3-8)
So, righteousness is based on faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 2:16), not the Law (works) anymore. That’s what David meant ‘prophetically’. He saw in the spirit the coming Messiah who would come and save people from their sins. Jesus said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24); in other words, He’s saying, ‘believe what I’m going to do for you, I’ll pay the price for your sins’ (John 3:16-17)
So, there’s nothing contradictory between these two passages. They simply talked about two different subjects but if you aren’t well acquainted with the Bible, it’s easy to suggest these to be contradictory.
Please click here to receive your salvation, if you haven’t done that yet. God bless you.