Psalm 90

1650 psalter

Man’s sin and frailty leading to the cry for the better days

If antiquity has worth, then this is the oldest psalm in the Psalm book, as it was written by Moses. There is a marked contrast between the eternity and immortality of God, and the frailty and mortality of man. Man’s life is withering and shortly cut down, whereas God’s existence is from everlasting to everlasting.

If then we are of short duration, and our iniquities are open before God and liable to the power of God’s wrath, then we ought to number our days. We should take stock of our lives, and seek that wisdom that will make us wise unto salvation. So instead of working moroseness in us over the brevity of our lives, there would be gladness and joy because of His mercy to us.

Believers desire that the beauty of the Lord would clothe them. This could mean the effect of sanctification dressing them, but also it could be the white linen of the righteousness of Christ, giving them a beauty that is acceptable to God.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: St Anne

St Anne

Psalm 90

¹Lord, thou hast been our dwelling–place
In generations all.
²Before thou ever hadst brought forth
The mountains great or small;

Ere ever thou hadst form’d the earth,
And all the world abroad;
Ev’n thou from everlasting art
To everlasting God.

³Thou dost unto destruction
Man that is mortal turn;
And unto them thou say’st, Again,
Ye sons of men, return.

⁴Because a thousand years appear
No more before thy sight
Than yesterday, when it is past,
Or than a watch by night.

⁵As with an overflowing flood
Thou carriest them away:
They like a sleep are, like the grass
That grows at morn are they.

⁶At morn it flourishes and grows,
Cut down at ev’n doth fade.
⁷For by thine anger we’re consum’d,
Thy wrath makes us afraid.

⁸Our sins thou and iniquities
Dost in thy presence place,
And sett’st our secret faults before
The brightness of thy face.

⁹For in thine anger all our days
Do pass on to an end;
And as a tale that hath been told,
So we our years do spend.

¹⁰Threescore and ten years do sum up
Our days and years, we see;
Or, if, by reason of more strength,
In some fourscore they be:

Yet doth the strength of such old men
But grief and labour prove;
For it is soon cut off, and we
Fly hence, and soon remove.

¹¹Who knows the power of thy wrath?
According to thy fear
So is thy wrath: ¹²Lord, teach thou us
Our end in mind to bear;

And so to count our days, that we
Our hearts may still apply
To learn thy wisdom and thy truth,
That we may live thereby.

¹³Turn yet again to us, O LORD,
How long thus shall it be?
Let it repent thee now for those
That servants are to thee.

¹⁴O with thy tender mercies, Lord,
Us early satisfy;
So we rejoice shall all our days,
And still be glad in thee.

¹⁵According as the days have been,
Wherein we grief have had,
And years wherein we ill have seen,
So do thou make us glad.

¹⁶O let thy work and pow’r appear
Thy servants’ face before;
And show unto their children dear
Thy glory evermore:

¹⁷And let the beauty of the LORD
Our God be us upon:
Our handy–works establish thou,
Establish them each one.