Pondering Psalm 90
To read Psalm 90 in it’s entirety click HERE.
Verse 1: “Lord You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.” What might Moses have been thinking as he penned these words in the wilderness? Charles Spurgeon does such a great job detailing this that I will let him speak as I could do no better. He uses some words that we don’t use and it is a little lengthy but worth the picture it paints.
At nightfall, or when the pillar stayed its motion, the tents were pitched, and the Israelites laid themselves down to rest. Perhaps to-morrow, ere the morning sun had risen, the trumpet sounded, they stirred themselves from their beds and found the ark was in motion, and the fiery cloudy pillar was leading the way through the narrow defiles of the mountain up the hillside, or along the arid waste of the wilderness. They had scarcely time to arrange their little property in their tents and make all things comfortable for themselves, before they heard the sound of “Away! away! away! this is not your rest; you must still be onward journeying toward Cannan!” They could not plant a little patch of ground around their tents, they could not lay out their house in order, and arrange their furniture, they could not become attached to the spot of ground.
Even though just now their father had been buried in a place where a tent had tarried for a time yet they must be off. They must have no attachment to the place, they must have nothing of what we call comfort, ease, and peace; but be always journeying, always traveling. Moreover, so exposed were they, that they never could be very easy in their tents. At one time the sand, with the hot simoom behind it, would drive through the tent and cover them almost to burial. On frequent occasions the hot sun would scorch them, and their canvas would scarce be a preservation; at another time the biting north wind would freeze around them, so that within their tents they sat shivering and cowering around their fires.
They had little ease; but behold the contrast which Moses, the man of God, discerns with gratitude, “Thou art not our tent, but thou art our dwelling-place. Though we are uneasy here, though we are tossed from side to side by troubles, though we travel through a wilderness, and find it a rough pathway, though when we sit down here we know not what comfort means, O Lord, in thee we possess all the comfort which a house can afford, we have all that a mansion or palace can give the prince, who can loll upon his couch, and rest upon his bed of down. Lord, thou art to us comfort, thou art a house and habitation.”
Have you ever known what it is to have God for your dwelling-place in the sense of comfort? Do you know what it is, when you have storms behind you, to feel like a sea-bird, blown to the land by the very storm? Do you know what it is, when you have been caged sometimes by adversity, to have the string cut by divine grace, and like the pigeon that flies at once to its own dovecot, have you sped your way across the ether, and found yourself in God? Do you know what it is, when you are tossed on the waves, to go down into the depths of Godhead, there rejoicing that not a wave of trouble ruffles your spirit, but that you are serenely at home with God your own Almighty Father? Can you, amid all the uneasiness of this desert journey, find a comfort there? Is the breast of Jesus a sweet pillow for your head? Can you, lie thus on the breast of Deity? Can you put yourself in the stream of Providence and float along without a struggle, while angels sing around you—divinely guided, divinely led—”We are bearing thee along the stream of Providence to the ocean of eternal bliss!” Do you know what it is to lie on God, to give up all care, to drive anxiety away, and there—not in a recklessness of spirit, but in a holy carelessness—to be careful for nothing, “but in every thing by supplication to make known your wants unto God?” If so you have gained the first idea; “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place throughout all generations.” Charles Spurgeon
I underlined the phrase “holy carelessness” because I liked it. There is a lot to ponder in that phrase alone. But I thought Spurgeon did a great job of helping us understand that this is not our home. And even though we are settlers and not sojourners, so to speak, we must never forget that God is our home. God is our dwelling place. This place is is our temporary home-away-from-home and we MUST not get too attached. And yet we do.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week: Psalm 95