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1 A prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast bene our dwelling place in all generations.

2 Before the mountaines were broughtforth, or euer thou hadst formed the earth and the world: euen from euerlasting to euerlasting thou art God.

3 Thou turnest man to destruction: and sayest, Returne yee children of men.

4 For a thousand yeeres 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 sleepe: in the morning they are like grasse which groweth vp.

6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth vp: in the euening it is cut downe, and withereth.

7 For we are consumed by thine anger: and by thy wrath are we troubled.

8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee: our secret sinnes in the light of thy countenance.

9 For all our dayes are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our yeeres as a tale that is told.

10 The dayes of our yeres are threescore yeeres and ten, and if by reason of strength they be fourescore yeeres, yet is their strength labour and sorrow: for it is soone cut off, and we flie away.

11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? euen according to thy feare, so is thy wrath.

12 So teach vs to number our daies: that wee may apply our hearts vnto wisedome.

13 Returne (O Lord) how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy seruants.

14 O satisfie vs early with thy mercie: that we may reioyce, and be glad all our dayes.

15 Make vs glad according to the dayes wherein thou hast afflicted vs: and the yeeres wherein we haue seene euil.

16 Let thy worke appeare vnto thy seruants: and thy glory vnto their children.

17 And let the beautie of the Lord our God be vpon vs, and establish thou the worke of our hands vpon vs: yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Psalms 90

The eternity of God, the frailty of man. (1-6) Submission to Divine chastisements. (7-11) Prayer for mercy and grace. (12-17)

1-6 It is supposed that this psalm refers to the sentence passed on Israel in the wilderness, #Nu 14|. The favour and protection of God are the only sure rest and comfort of the soul in this evil world. Christ Jesus is the refuge and dwelling-place to which we may repair. We are dying creatures, all our comforts in the world are dying comforts, but God is an ever-living God, and believers find him so. When God, by sickness, or other afflictions, turns men to destruction, he thereby calls men to return unto him to repent of their sins, and live a new life. A thousand years are nothing to God's eternity: between a minute and a million of years there is some proportion; between time and eternity there is none. All the events of a thousand years, whether past or to come, are more present to the Eternal Mind, than what was done in the last hour is to us. And in the resurrection, the body and soul shall both return and be united again. Time passes unobserved by us, as with men asleep; and when it is past, it is as nothing. It is a short and quickly-passing life, as the waters of a flood. Man does but flourish as the grass, which, when the winter of old age comes, will wither; but he may be mown down by disease or disaster.

7-11 The afflictions of the saints often come from God's love; but the rebukes of sinners, and of believers for their sins, must be seen coming from the displeasure of God. Secret sins are known to God, and shall be reckoned for. See the folly of those who go about to cover their sins, for they cannot do so. Our years, when gone, can no more be recalled than the words that we have spoken. Our whole life is toilsome and troublesome; and perhaps, in the midst of the years we count upon, it is cut off. We are taught by all this to stand in awe. The angels that sinned know the power of God's anger; sinners in hell know it; but which of us can fully describe it? Few seriously consider it as they ought. Those who make a mock at sin, and make light of Christ, surely do not know the power of God's anger. Who among us can dwell with that devouring fire?

12-17 Those who would learn true wisdom, must pray for Divine instruction, must beg to be taught by the Holy Spirit; and for comfort and joy in the returns of God's favour. They pray for the mercy of God, for they pretend not to plead any merit of their own. His favour would be a full fountain of future joys. It would be a sufficient balance to former griefs. Let the grace of God in us produce the light of good works. And let Divine consolations put gladness into our hearts, and a lustre upon our countenances. The work of our hands, establish thou it; and, in order to that, establish us in it. Instead of wasting our precious, fleeting days in pursuing fancies, which leave the possessors for ever poor, let us seek the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance in heaven. Let us pray that the work of the Holy Spirit may appear in converting our hearts, and that the beauty of holiness may be seen in our conduct.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 90

  • BSP
    Verse 12~To count the days means more than just checking them off or becoming obsessed with how long we may live. We need to use our days in a worthwhile way that brings honor to Jehovah.
  • A disciple
    Moses asked the LORD if he could see His glory. David panted and thirsted for the Living God, longing for the day he could come and appear before God. Paul felt that as long as he is here; though it would be a good thing for the building up and confirming of the Saints; he was "away from home" being still here on earth. These things are Spirit inspired understanding of the eternal and the true.
  • A disciple
    "For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told." Moses lived to be 120 years old. Abraham lived to 175. Some from the world of the beginning lived over 900 years. But while many stumble at the idea that God is able to let a man live for so long; what about all the long years of trouble and sorrow, toil and sweat, as it were banished far away from God?
  • BSP
    Verse 10: This shows how precious life is because we only have a few years on this earth. We should try to make the most of each day and live a life full of devotion and service to Jehovah God.
  • Faith kyeveo
    am just getting the challenge right,,,that i should cherish every day that God gives to me because it could be the last...its never a guarantee that i will be alive tomorrow
  • A disciple
    "..we spend our years as a tale..So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." The one thing that we all seem to most readily slip away from, when studying the things of the Lord, is the fact of our present existence; as if reality was only true in our minds by faith. This prayer of Moses is very deep, and worth much time to understand; esp. as it goes before Psalm 91.

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