God’s Saving Word: Prayer
Psalm 90: This psalm is a communal prayer that reflects the human quest to understand life’s meaning, particularly as life is drawing to a close. It juxtaposes the eternal nature of God with the shortness of human life. In this psalm, the Lord is called “our home” and the psalm was most likely written in response to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Prior to that time, “home” or “house” in the psalms would have referred to the Temple.
Of God and Human Beings
90 O Lord, you have always been our home.
2 Before you created the hills
or brought the world into being,
you were eternally God,
and will be God forever.
3 You tell us to return to what we were;
you change us back to dust.
4 A thousand years to you are like one day;
they are like yesterday, already gone,
like a short hour in the night.
5 You carry us away like a flood;
we last no longer than a dream.
We are like weeds that sprout in the morning,
6 that grow and burst into bloom,
then dry up and die in the evening.
7 We are destroyed by your anger;
we are terrified by your fury.
8 You place our sins before you,
our secret sins where you can see them.
9 Our life is cut short by your anger;
it fades away like a whisper.
10 Seventy years is all we have—
eighty years, if we are strong;
yet all they bring us is trouble and sorrow;
life is soon over, and we are gone.
11 Who has felt the full power of your anger?
Who knows what fear your fury can bring?
12 Teach us how short our life is,
so that we may become wise.
13 How much longer will your anger last?
Have pity, O Lord, on your servants!
14 Fill us each morning with your constant love,
so that we may sing and be glad all our life.
15 Give us now as much happiness as the sadness you gave us
during all our years of misery.
16 Let us, your servants, see your mighty deeds;
let our descendants see your glorious might.
17 Lord our God, may your blessings be with us.
Give us success in all we do!
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 90:1, 2
O Lord, you have always been our home. Before you created the hills or brought the world into being, you were eternally God and will be God forever.
This psalm begins by affirming God’s eternal nature and everlasting care for humankind (verses 1, 2), followed by describing the brevity of life (verses 3-10), and concluding with a prayer for redemption (verses 11-17). What are your thoughts regarding the verses about God’s anger (verses 7-13)? What does the writer ask of God? A beloved hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” is based on Psalm 90, and you may wish to compare the words of the psalm with this hymn.
O God, you are our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, and our eternal home. Fill me each morning with your constant love, and may your favor rest upon me each day of my life. Amen.
And now, join us in thanking God that survivors of the genocide in Rwanda are experiencing healing through God’s Word. Holy God, we grieve the Rwandan genocide in 1994 that killed more than 800,000, primarily Tutsi people. But today we also rejoice that pastors are learning of the Bible Society’s Trauma Healing ministry and are helping genocide survivors experience true peace and freedom in Jesus. Gracious God, thank you that people who have suffered greatly are receiving Bibles and powerful Scripture resources. Thank you, God, for the generosity of Bible Society supporters who are providing hope and healing to survivors of this brutal war. Amen.
Psalm 91: A psalm expressing trust in God.