A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man to destruction, and say, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood; they are like 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.
For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. 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 finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.
These notes are from the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible on this Psalm.
- Death is not a natural event to which we should resign ourselves but a sign of God’s anger upon mankind for our sins. Though we would rather not think about it, we gain much wisdom by meditating on the brevity of life, the certainty of death and the eternity of the God who rules both life and death. The reality of death strips away our pretenses of pride and independence and reminds us of God’s absolute power over us and wrath against sin. How should these truths humble us?
- The reality of death also moves us to find a dwelling place in God that will outlast this life. This world loses its charm when we see it as a temporary home, but God is eternal. This is the great wisdom given to us by the gospel to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life (2 Tim 3:15). Pray that God would have mercy upon you for your sins, give you eternal joy and satisfaction in His love, and work in you that your works will have lasting value.