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Psalm 90

By Henry Law


      This Psalm is entitled "A Prayer of Moses, the man of God." As such it justly claims devout attention as the earliest of inspired songs. In adopting it may we move forward on the heavenward road!

      1. "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations."

      Happy has been the experience of the saints of God at every period. They could always find a home on high, in which they might repose and sweetly dwell. To all who approach in the name of Jesus the portals of heaven open, and smiles welcome. By faith may we thus enter, and in God continually abide. No monarch occupies so grand a palace.

      2. "Before the mountains were brought forth, or before You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God."

      A glorious description of the self-existent and everlasting God here meets us. Before time was, while time rolls on, when time shall be no more, He lives--the great "I am that I am."

      3-6. "You turn man to destruction; and say, Return, you children of men. For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. You carry them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which grows up. In the morning it flourishes, and grows up; in the evening it is cut down, and withers."

      In contrast mark the short-lived instability of man. Formed of the dust of the earth, God speaks the word, and to that dust he instantly returns. In God's sight time has no place. A thousand years are but as a fleeting day. Many images combine to show the brevity of man's existence. A rushing torrent bears him out of sight. Sleep soon ceases, and in the morning leaves no trace. The night-watch tarries not. When day dawns the grass is green, before evening it is withered up. Human life is but a momentary bloom.

      7-9. "For we are consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath are we troubled. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told."

      Sin is the root of this nothingness. Our iniquities are many. They may be hidden from our view; but they are all unmistakable to the omniscience of God. When His anger is aroused, we vanish as the remembrance of a brief recital.

      10. "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

      Those who are permitted to count threescore years and ten, should regard their allotted course as fully run. The fleeting generations in the wilderness taught this lesson to Moses. Few who entered Canaan had seen that period. If unusual strength should lengthen out man's days, the failing powers bring labor and sorrow. The continuance is fleeting. Departure is at the door.

      11-12. "Who knows the power of Your anger? even according to Your fear so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom."

      God is not limited in any attribute. His anger then may work dreadfully. Let us tremble to provoke His wrath; and rather in knowledge of life's brevity give our little space to search for true wisdom. He is well taught who studies God in Christ.

      13-17. "Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent You concerning Your servants. O satisfy us early with Your mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein You have afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let Your work appear unto Your servants, and Your glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands."

      Solemn prayers are the fitting conclusion. The Lord is implored to return, to relax displeasure, to cause mercy to overflow. Then joy and gladness will super-abound. He will not be slow to reveal His wondrous power to beautify His people with salvation, and to make all their work to prosper. May these prayers ever ascend from our hearts! Descending blessings will crown us with delights.

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See Also:
   Psalm 1
   Psalm 2
   Psalm 3
   Psalm 4
   Psalm 5
   Psalm 6
   Psalm 7
   Psalm 8
   Psalm 9
   Psalm 10
   Psalm 11
   Psalm 12
   Psalm 13
   Psalm 14
   Psalm 15
   Psalm 16
   Psalm 17
   Psalm 18
   Psalm 19
   Psalm 20
   Psalm 21
   Psalm 22
   Psalm 23
   Psalm 24
   Psalm 25
   Psalm 26
   Psalm 27
   Psalm 28
   Psalm 29
   Psalm 30
   Psalm 31
   Psalm 32
   Psalm 33
   Psalm 34
   Psalm 35
   Psalm 36
   Psalm 37
   Psalm 38
   Psalm 39
   Psalm 40
   Psalm 41
   Psalm 42
   Psalm 43
   Psalm 44
   Psalm 45
   Psalm 46
   Psalm 47
   Psalm 48
   Psalm 49
   Psalm 50
   Psalm 51
   Psalm 52
   Psalm 53
   Psalm 54
   Psalm 55
   Psalm 56
   Psalm 57
   Psalm 58
   Psalm 59
   Psalm 60
   Psalm 61
   Psalm 62
   Psalm 63
   Psalm 64
   Psalm 65
   Psalm 66
   Psalm 67
   Psalm 68
   Psalm 69
   Psalm 70
   Psalm 71
   Psalm 72
   Psalm 72
   Psalm 74
   Psalm 75
   Psalm 76
   Psalm 77
   Psalm 78
   Psalm 79
   Psalm 80
   Psalm 81
   Psalm 82
   Psalm 83
   Psalm 84
   Psalm 85
   Psalm 86
   Psalm 87
   Psalm 88
   Psalm 89
   Psalm 90
   Psalm 91
   Psalm 92
   Psalm 93
   Psalm 94
   Psalm 95
   Psalm 96
   Psalm 97
   Psalm 98
   Psalm 99
   Psalm 100
   Psalm 101
   Psalm 102
   Psalm 103
   Psalm 104
   Psalm 105
   Psalm 106
   Psalm 107
   Psalm 108
   Psalm 109
   Psalm 110
   Psalm 111
   Psalm 112
   Psalm 113
   Psalm 114
   Psalm 115
   Psalm 116
   Psalm 117
   Psalm 118
   Psalm 119
   Psalm 120
   Psalm 121
   Psalm 122
   Psalm 123
   Psalm 124
   Psalm 125
   Psalm 126
   Psalm 127
   Psalm 128
   Psalm 129
   Psalm 130
   Psalm 131
   Psalm 132
   Psalm 133
   Psalm 134
   Psalm 135
   Psalm 136
   Psalm 137
   Psalm 138
   Psalm 139
   Psalm 140
   Psalm 141
   Psalm 142
   Psalm 143
   Psalm 144
   Psalm 145
   Psalm 146
   Psalm 147
   Psalm 148
   Psalm 149
   Psalm 150

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