Psalms 90:1



The Bible says in Psalm 90:1, “LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.” This is an Old Testament verse that describes the spiritual situation that Christians are in very well. We are in Christ. He is everywhere. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” That means many things. It means that we share His life with Him and His life is eternal. It means that He is always with us and we are always with Him. It means that we have God’s protection and God’s provision all around us like a great invisible shield.


The Bible says in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” How small we are compared to God. God has eternal existence, which means that He has no beginning and no end. We have a beginning, but it is amazing that God offers us a life with Him without end through faith in Christ. How small is our strength and how few are our accomplishments compared to God. God “formed the earth and the world.” No, it was not evolution. It was God. It is amazing that God gives us a part of His work to do in the name of Christ and because of Christ.


The Bible says in Psalms 90:3-6, “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.[4] For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.[5] Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.[6] In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.” Because God is God, our lives are in His hands. God gives each one of us life on this earth as a gift, but it is a gift of very short duration. God gives this life and He also takes it away. That is what is meant in the first phrase of verse three, “Thou turnest man to destruction.” God ends the life of each person when God chooses to do so. In verse four the Psalmist compares God’s existence to man’s. A thousand years is a long time to man, but not to God. A thousand years is as a day to God. The Apostle Peter referred to this truth in writing about the apparent delay to the Second Coming of Christ. Peter wrote in Second Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”


Human life is so short that the scripture compares it to grass that withers when it is cut down. And the grass gets cut often. Life is precious, and people try to extend their lives, and so they should. But because life is so short, people should also make sure they are ready for the next life by knowing they have turned to Jesus to be their Savior.


The Bible says in Psalms 90:7-9, “For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.[8] Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.[9] For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.” God has “anger” and “wrath” because He is holy. And because God is all-knowing, He knows our “iniquities” and our “secret sins.” No one is going to get away with anything. The judgment is coming, and sometimes God brings a little bit of judgment in this life before the final judgment gets here.


The Bible says in Psalms 90:10, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” The Psalmist is saying that in his day the average life expectancy was seventy, and some made it to eighty. In some countries today it is a little longer than that, but that is not much compared to eternity. No matter how long you live, according to this verse, your life will be characterized by “labour and sorrow.” That is what God told Adam that life would be like once he was kicked out of the Garden of Eden for sin. Once you are “cut off” and “fly away,” make sure that you fly away to heaven because you have faith in Jesus.


The Bible says in Psalm 90:11, “Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.” A question is asked in the first part of this verse: “Who knoweth the power of thine anger?” Here is an answer: those who are blessed know the power of His anger. It says in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” If you know just a little bit about the anger of God against sin, then you would turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and find salvation. That is better than going to hell.


The Psalmist makes a request to God. The Bible says in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Wisdom comes from God, and we need the wisdom to understand how short life is, and therefore to take advantage of our opportunities to serve Christ. No matter how old you are, some of your life is already gone, and you will never get it back. Make good use of today. You might be closer to the end than you know. That is what a wise person would do.


The Bible says in Psalm 90:13-14, “Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.[14] O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” The Psalmist asked the question, “how long?” We have seen this question and others like it before. We all ask this question at times. We ask it like the Psalmist when we are going through tough times. We ask it when we look at the world around us, and wait for the return of the Lord Jesus. We ask it when we desire complete righteousness and we know that will only be fulfilled in heaven. That is why we need longsuffering as a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Some Christians have short suffering. Instead of asking the LORD, “how long,” they quit, or they take things into their own hands instead of continuing to trust in the LORD.


Instead of complaining we should be rejoicing. What do we have to rejoice about? As it says in verse fourteen, we have the “mercy” of the LORD. If we understand mercy, and appreciate mercy, and value mercy that comes through Christ, we will be able to “rejoice and be glad all our days.” If we want to rejoice because of our circumstances in this life, we definitely will not “rejoice and be glad all our days.”


The Bible says in Psalm 90:15, “Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.” The Psalmist felt like they had been suffering so much that he wanted at least an equal amount of time when the sufferings are over. One thing is for sure: once we get to heaven through faith in Christ, the glories that we will experience will far outweigh whatever sufferings we had in this life.


The Bible says in Psalm 90:16-17, “Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.[17] And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” In verse sixteen the Psalmist mentions the “work” of God. Of course, God is always at work. His truth is marching on. The Spirit moves where He will. The Psalmist wanted the work of God and the glory of God to be manifest among them. God hides Himself. If people go away from God, then God goes away from them. But if you know Jesus as Savior, nothing will satisfy except a closer walk with Him. One of the glories of heaven will be the fact that we will know Him even as we are now known. But until we get to heaven, we have work to do. That work will be in vain unless the LORD does for us exactly what the Psalmist asked in verse seventeen, “establish thou the work of our hands upon us.”             





Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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