God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
1Lord, You have been our dwelling place [our refuge, our sanctuary, our stability] in all generations.
2Before the mountains were born
Or before You had given birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are [the eternal] God.
3You turn man back to dust,
And say, “Return [to the earth], O children of [mortal] men!”
4For a This was understood by the ancient rabbis to mean that a “thousand years” are literally only one day in God’s reckoning, and Peter seems to confirm the idea in 2 Pet 3:8.thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
Or as a watch in the night.
5You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep [forgotten as soon as they are gone];
In the morning they are like grass which grows anew—
6In the morning it flourishes and springs up;
In the evening it wilts and withers away.
7For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been terrified.
8You have placed our wickedness before you,
Our secret sins [which we tried to conceal, You have placed] in the [revealing] light of Your presence.
9For all our days pass away in Your wrath;
We have finished our years like a whispered sigh.
10The days of our life are This psalm is credited to Moses, who is interceding with God to remove the curse which made it necessary for every Israelite over twenty years of age (when they rebelled against God at Kadesh-barnea) to die before reaching the promised land of Canaan (Num 14:26-35). Moses himself lived to be 120 years old, Aaron 123, Miriam several years older, and Joshua 110 years of age; but it is conceivable that Moses considered such longevity the exception. The ancient rabbis taught that by the time of David, 70 was the age of death for an old man and 80 for a vigorous old man.seventy years—
Or even, if because of strength, eighty years;
Yet their pride [in additional years] is only labor and sorrow,
For it is soon gone and we fly away.
11Who understands the power of Your anger? [Who connects this brevity of life among us with Your judgment of sin?]
And Your wrath, [who connects it] with the [reverent] fear that is due You?
12So teach us to number our days,
That we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom.
13Turn, O Lord [from Your fierce anger]; how long will it be?
Be compassionate toward Your servants—revoke Your sentence.
14O satisfy us with Your lovingkindness in the morning [now, before we grow older],
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15Make us glad in proportion to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have suffered evil.
16Let Your work [the signs of Your power] be revealed to Your servants
And Your [glorious] majesty to their children.
17And let the [gracious] favor of the Lord our God be on us;
Confirm for us the work of our hands—
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
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