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PSALM 90

By: Steve Negley

Posted: November 8, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

LIFESPAN

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,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn us back to dust
and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday when it is past
or like a watch in the night.

You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are consumed by your anger;
by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;
our years come to an end like a sigh.
10 The days of our life are seventy years
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away

I like to think of earthly life as a century-long quest that is divided into four twenty-five year-long chapters. During my ministry, I have known several people who have passed the century mark, and so this perspective has some credibility. I have been intrigued, however, that the biblical writer (in this case Moses?) saw the path of life a little differently. First, there is the eternal calendar, as “a thousand years in God’s sight are like yesterday when it past, and a watch in the night”. I hope that my complete days with God are counted like that. And then, back to earthly life, I hold on to a promise of seventy or eighty years.

For three thousand years that has been the understood span of earthly life. At almost sixty-three, I’ll take that offer (hopefully on the higher, stronger end.) And yet I’m still hoping that my fourth and final chapter might just have me cross the century line.

Prayer

God, you have been my dwelling place throughout my generations. Help me to trust your creative and sustaining care for all the earthly days planned for me. And keep me even closer as I will one day fly away to be with you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.