God, the Eternal
A prayer of Moses, God’s prophet
1Lord, you have always been our eternal home,
our hiding place from generation to generation.
2Long before you gave birth to the earth
and before the mountains were born,
you have been from everlasting to everlasting, # 90:2 The Hebrew word often rendered “eternity” [“everlasting”] is ‘olam, which can be translated “beyond the horizon.”
the one and only true God.
3When you speak the words “Life, return to me!”
man turns back to dust.
4One thousand years pass before your eyes
like yesterday that quickly faded away,
like a night’s sleep soon forgotten. # 90:4 Or “like divisions [watches] of the night.”
5-6One day we will each be swept away into the sleep of death.
We glide along through the tides of time—
so quickly gone, like a dream that fades at dawn, # 90:5–6 A poetic description of what is implied in the context.
like glistening grass that springs up one day
and is dry and withered the next, ready to be cut down!
7Terrified by your anger, confined beneath the curse,
we live our lives knowing your wrath. # 90:7 Or “worn out by your rage.” Jesus has come and broken the curse and lifted the unbearable burden of our sins.
8For all of our faults and flaws are in full view to you. # 90:8 The Septuagint reads “The laws we have broken all stand before you.”
Everything we want to hide, you search out
and expose by the radiance of your face.
9We are banished to live in the shadow of your anger.
Our days soon become years until our lifetime comes to an end,
finished with nothing but a sigh. # 90:9 The Septuagint reads “All our days have been filled with failures.”
10You’ve limited our life span to a mere seventy years,
yet some you give grace to live still longer. # 90:10 Or “if in strength eighty years.”
But even the best of years are marred by tears and toils
and in the end are nothing more than a gravestone in a graveyard! # 90:10 A poetic description of what is implied in the context. The Septuagint has the phrase “until we mellow and accept your correction.”
We’re gone so quickly, so swiftly;
we pass away and simply disappear.
11Lord, who fully knows the power of your passion
and the intensity of your emotions? # 90:11 As translated from the Aramaic. The Hebrew can be translated “Who could experience the strength of your anger? Who could endure the fear your fury can bring, and who truly comprehends the fear of God?”
12Help us to remember that our days are numbered,
and help us to interpret our lives correctly.
Set your wisdom deeply in our hearts
so that we may accept your correction. # 90:12 As translated from the Septuagint.
13Return to us again, O God!
How much longer will it take until you show us
your abundant compassion?
14Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night.
Break through our clouded dawn again!
Only you can satisfy our hearts,
filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.
15We’ve been overwhelmed with grief;
come now and overwhelm us with gladness.
Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight.
16Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation
see the glorious wonders you’re famous for.
17O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty # 90:17 Or “favor.” rest upon us.
Come work with us, and then our works will endure;
you will give us success in all we do.