Psalms 90

* The eternity of God, the frailty of man. (1-6) Submission to

Divine chastisements. (7-11) Prayer for mercy and grace. (12-17)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.
7-11 The afflictions of the saints often come from God's love;

but the rebukes of sinners, and of believers for their sins,

must be seen coming from the displeasure of God. Secret sins are

known to God, and shall be reckoned for. See the folly of those

who go about to cover their sins, for they cannot do so. Our

years, when gone, can no more be recalled than the words that we

have spoken. Our whole life is toilsome and troublesome; and

perhaps, in the midst of the years we count upon, it is cut off.

We are taught by all this to stand in awe. The angels that

sinned know the power of God's anger; sinners in hell know it;

but which of us can fully describe it? Few seriously consider it

as they ought. Those who make a mock at sin, and make light of

Christ, surely do not know the power of God's anger. Who among

us can dwell with that devouring fire?
12-17 Those who would learn true wisdom, must pray for Divine

instruction, must beg to be taught by the Holy Spirit; and for

comfort and joy in the returns of God's favour. They pray for

the mercy of God, for they pretend not to plead any merit of

their own. His favour would be a full fountain of future joys.

It would be a sufficient balance to former griefs. Let the grace

of God in us produce the light of good works. And let Divine

consolations put gladness into our hearts, and a lustre upon our

countenances. The work of our hands, establish thou it; and, in

order to that, establish us in it. Instead of wasting our

precious, fleeting days in pursuing fancies, which leave the

possessors for ever poor, let us seek the forgiveness of sins,

and an inheritance in heaven. Let us pray that the work of the

Holy Spirit may appear in converting our hearts, and that the

beauty of holiness may be seen in our conduct
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