Psalm 90: 1-12
The psalms are at the heart of our Bible and they deal with heart issues. There is probably no place where the heart gets exposed as in the psalms. They are a reminder that we live in a broken world, full of tears, groans and sighs. This psalm, like many psalms, also puts God on display. Psalms are a great place to see an expose of the human heart, but also to see God and His glory.
This psalm is often read around Christmas time. Why is it so appropriate for this time of year? What does it impress upon us? Our mortality and the brevity of life. It starts on a high note, reminding us that God is an everlasting God. God has no beginning or end. Then, the psalmist draws comfort from this reality: “You have been our dwelling place in all generations” (verse 1). There has never been a people that cannot say “God is our dwelling place.” It has been a comfort for every generation. Even as we think of our children and grandchildren, if God gets a hold of them, God will be there dwelling place from everlasting to everlasting. Someone has said, “There is no before God and no after God”. He is the Alpha and Omega – a mind-boggling truth.
Then the psalmist changes the focus from God’s eternal nature to focus on man and the brevity of life. He reminds us of the brevity of life in two ways. First, in a cold statistical way “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty” (verse 10). Many people don’t even live that long. Moses, who wrote this psalm, lived to one hundred twenty, but David lived to seventy. Solomon lived to be sixty. Even in church history, David Brainerd died at twenty-eight, Spurgeon fifty-five. Even if we live as old as Methuselah – nine hundred years, it would be a brief life. The older you get the more you get a sense of the brevity of life.
Second, he teaches us about the brevity of life using metaphors. He uses grass, which grows and quickly gets scorched under the hot sun, also a flood that quickly comes and quickly goes, a tale that is told, and a dream. Time is one of our most precious gifts. We cannot buy time; we have an allotted amount of time to live. We must all say, very soon we will meet our Creator God. A few more Sabbath days, a few more prayer meetings, a few more birthdays and a few more Christmases and then we look upon the face of Christ.
To the non-Christian this sounds depressing, but we Christians look at it from the lens of future inheritance. We know there is a glory to come.