Lent Week 3—Saturday
Psalm 90 Genesis 47:27-48:7 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Mark 7:1-23
Time. It heals all wounds. It waits for no man. It stands still. And it flies.
Psalm 90 is attributed to Moses, and is a prayer for the people of Israel to learn the eternal nature of God, as well as the frailty of man. Time is a major theme in this Psalm, contrasting God’s endless, expansive existence with man’s blink-of-an-eye lifespan. Moses says to God, “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”
When we are young, a long, full life may seem like an eternity, but as we grow older the years begin to fly, and we start to understand the Psalm’s message – instructing us to live a purposeful life in harmony with God, making full use of our time on Earth.
Isaac Watts’ beautiful paraphrasing of Psalm 90 is the beloved Hymn 680, “O God, our help in ages past.” Having sung this hymn several times a year for the past three decades, I sometimes neglect to contemplate the deeper meaning of the text:
“A thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone; short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all our years away; they fly, forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day.”
Psalm 90 ends with hope for us all: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Though our days may be few in comparison to God’s, our works can be brought into alignment with Him, giving us a glimpse of eternity.