- (A prayer by Moses, the man of God.) Our Lord, in all generations you have been our home.
- You have always been God-- long before the birth of the mountains, even before you created the earth and the world.
- At your command we die and turn back to dust,
- but a thousand years mean nothing to you! They are merely a day gone by or a few hours in the night.
- You bring our lives to an end just like a dream. We are merely tender grass
- that sprouts and grows in the morning, but dries up by evening.
- Your furious anger frightens and destroys us,
- and you know all of our sins, even those we do in secret.
- Your anger is a burden each day we live, then life ends like a sigh.
- We can expect seventy years, or maybe eighty, if we are healthy, but even our best years bring trouble and sorrow. Suddenly our time is up, and we disappear.
- No one knows the full power of your furious anger, but it is as great as the fear that we owe to you.
- Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.
- Help us, LORD! Don't wait! Pity your servants.
- When morning comes, let your love satisfy all our needs. Then we can celebrate and be glad for what time we have left.
- Make us happy for as long as you caused us trouble and sorrow.
- Do wonderful things for us, your servants, and show your mighty power to our children.
- Our Lord and our God, treat us with kindness and let all go well for us. Please let all go well!
God is eternal, but by comparison a lifetime for man is like grass that sprouts in the morning and withers by evening. And when this life is lived under the terror of God's wrath due to man's sin, the days "ebb away" and end "like a sigh." (90:9) Moses prayed that God would teach them to "number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." Then maybe God's wrath would turn and He would "have compassion on Your servants." (90:13) Then he asked that God would "Make us rejoice for as many days as You have humbled us, for as many years as we have seen adversity." Then, instead of futility in life they would see the fruit of their efforts. Or, as Moses prayed, "establish for us the work of our hands." (90:17)
Life has meaning only when lived in fellowship with our Creator. Apart from that it is as meaningless as the grass that sprouts in the morning and withers by evening. This isn't because God is an angry wrathful God, but because man is stubborn and insists on doing it his way. We don't want to give up control of our lives, blind to the fact that allowing the One who gave us life to direct our lives is the only way for it to have meaning.