Psalms 90:1 MEANING

Psalm 90:1
(1) Dwelling place.--LXX. and Vulg., "refuse," possibly reading maoz (as in Psalm 37:39) instead of maon. So some MSS. But Deuteronomy 33:17 has the feminine of this latter word, and the idea of a continued abode strikes the key-note of the psalm. The short duration of each succeeding generation of men on the earth is contrasted with the eternity of God and the permanence given to Israel as a race by the covenant that united them with the Eternal. But we may give extension to the thought. Human history runs on from generation to generation (so the Hebrew; comp. Deuteronomy 32:7); one goes, another comes; but in relation to the unchanging God, who rules over all human history, even the transient creatures of an hour may come to feel secure and at home.

Verse 1. - Lord, thou hast been our Dwelling place in all generations; or, "our habitation" (see Psalm 91:9); comp. Psalm 32:7, "Thou art my Hiding place." For well nigh forty years Moses had had no fixed material dwelling place.

90:1-6 It is supposed that this psalm refers to the sentence passed on Israel in the wilderness, Nu 14. The favour and protection of God are the only sure rest and comfort of the soul in this evil world. Christ Jesus is the refuge and dwelling-place to which we may repair. We are dying creatures, all our comforts in the world are dying comforts, but God is an ever-living God, and believers find him so. When God, by sickness, or other afflictions, turns men to destruction, he thereby calls men to return unto him to repent of their sins, and live a new life. A thousand years are nothing to God's eternity: between a minute and a million of years there is some proportion; between time and eternity there is none. All the events of a thousand years, whether past or to come, are more present to the Eternal Mind, than what was done in the last hour is to us. And in the resurrection, the body and soul shall both return and be united again. Time passes unobserved by us, as with men asleep; and when it is past, it is as nothing. It is a short and quickly-passing life, as the waters of a flood. Man does but flourish as the grass, which, when the winter of old age comes, will wither; but he may be mown down by disease or disaster.Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations,.... Even when they had no certain dwelling place in the world; so their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, dwelt in tabernacles in the land of promise, as in a strange land; and their posterity for many years served under great affliction and oppression in a land that was not theirs; and now they were dwelling in tents in the wilderness, and removing from place to place; but as the Lord had been in every age, so he now was the dwelling place of those that trusted in him; being that to them as an habitation is to man, in whom they had provision, protection, rest, and safety; see Psalm 31:2 so all that believe in Christ dwell in him, and he in them, John 6:56, they dwelt secretly in him before they believed; so they dwelt in his heart's love, in his arms, in him as their head in election, and as their representative in the covenant of grace from eternity; and, when they fell in Adam, they were preserved in Christ, dwelling in him; and so they were in him when on the cross, in the grave, and now in heaven; for they are said to be crucified, buried, and risen with him, and set down in heavenly places in him, Galatians 2:20, and, being converted, they have an open dwelling in him by faith, to whom they have fled for refuge, and in whom they dwell safely, quietly, comfortably, pleasantly, and shall never be turned out: here they have room, plenty of provisions, rest, and peace, and security from all evils; he is an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the storm. Some render the word "refuge"; (a) such is Christ to his people, being the antitype of the cities of refuge; and others "helper", as the Targum; which also well agrees with him, on whom their help is laid, and is found.

(z) Huillus Patriarch. in Origen. apud Hieron. adv. Ruffin. l. 1. fol. 67. L. (a) "refugium", V. L. Vatablus; "asylum", Gejerus.

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