Psalm 90 The Eternality of God: Lesson Two
A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
I hope you took the time to read Psalm 90 and meditate on the words written there. The word of God is so nourishing to our souls! Let’s pick up where we left off and begin our study of scripture beginning in verse one. Remember, our author Moses, is writing during the 38 years of wilderness wanderings, after the curse of death has been handed down to the first generation.
Moses starts out this Psalm, surrounded by the reality of the human condition: man’s rebellion against God and God’s punishment of sin through death; and he starts out with a big view of God. Beloved, we have to have a greater view of God then we do of man. We have to have a greater view of God than we do of man’s sinful condition in order to see ANYTHING accurately. Otherwise, man and his problems become big and God becomes very small.
Moses knew this so He started with God and He says, “You have been our dwelling place.” Let’s think about this statement in light of what we already know: the Israelites didn’t have a dwelling place in the desert. They dwelt in tents. They had no permanent home under Moses. They were wilderness wanderers. But Moses acknowledges that though they are sojourners, they have had a dwelling place in God.
It was easy for the Israelites to remember they were sojourners because they lived in tents and picked up manna every day. They never got to a point where they moved from a small apartment to a house that they owned. They never replaced manna with 4 course meals and modern day conveniences. They lived in the wilderness and they were acutely aware of their surroundings. It is harder for us to keep a sojourning perspective in mind, especially in America.
But scripture is clear that we too are sojourners. 1 Peter 2:11 calls us sojourners and even though we are comfortable here, this is not our home. Sometimes I think that my level of comfort is a disadvantage to keeping my mindset one of longing for a “better country.” It wasn’t hard for Abraham to long for a better country as a nomad. It is hard for us to long for a better country in middle class America where we hold the top percentage of the world’s wealth.
But Moses goes on to add in a qualifier, “in all generations.” He states that from Adam and Eve, to the generation that will die in the desert, to the generation that will inherit the Promised Land, to us, God has been our dwelling place. Literally our place of refuge. You think about what images come to your mind when you think of a place of refuge. Is it a safe place? Is it a comfortable place? Is it a peaceful place? God Himself, our refuge. He is our dwelling place.
I like my home. Even after a week’s vacation at the beach I still love coming home. My home, with my family in it, is my refuge. It is safe, comfortable, peaceful and full of all the things I love. When I’ve had a bad day or even on the best days I look forward to coming home. We should see the Lord in this way.
Then Moses goes on to say in v.2, “before”. Let’s pause here. Before begins that clock ticking. It sets our minds in a place that is bound by time and reminds us that time exists for us but it also reminds us there was a time BEFORE time began. He says, “Before the mountains, earth and the world were formed.” He starts with the tangible and stretches to the intangible: the mountains, the earth, the world. He acknowledges God as author of Creation. He goes on to say, “from everlasting to everlasting you ARE God.”
That word everlasting means: the vanishing point, or time that is out of mind. Literally, from forever in both directions. John explains this concept perfectly when he writes in Revelation of the Lord, “I am the Alpha and the Omega”, “the first and the last”. These are the first statements made about God at the very beginning of the book of Revelation.
In the first chapter of Revelation, after John has given his greeting, the first quotation begins in v.8. It is important to note things like quotations in order to gain greater understanding into a passage of scripture. This indicates to us that someone is speaking and in this verse, that person is God. And what does God say about Himself? He states, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” So, God confirms by His own words that He is from everlasting to everlasting.
However, what I find even more awesome is what happens later on in verse 17 of chapter one. At this point, John has been confronted with a vision of Jesus and he struggles to describe what he sees. He can only use the word “like” to convey his vision because what he sees is clearly “unlike” anything else he has ever seen. And his immediate reaction is to fall down at His feet as dead.
Up to this point, Jesus has not said anything, but in verse 17 He opens His mouth and the very first thing He says is this: “Fear not, I am the first and the last.” Beloved, does this give you chills like it does me? God has spoken twice in the first chapter of Revelation and He states the exact same thing about Himself both times! Basically, I am from everlasting to everlasting!
It is always very important for us to take note when God talks about Himself. We are wise to be attentive to what He says. And surely, what He says FIRST about Himself. The last book of scripture that deals with last things and God states first, “I am the BEGINNING and I am the END.” Yet Moses writes all of this in Psalm 90 before Revelation was even written. He knows that, “You are God.” Before creation, You ARE - present tense - God. Before creation AND after the end of time, You ARE God.
You see, beloved, God never changes. The same God that Moses served in the wilderness is the same God John encountered in Revelation and He is the same God you and I worship today. He is our dwelling place, in all generations, our refuge and our home. And, for the believer, He always will be. From everlasting to everlasting, You ARE God. When our dash is over, if our dwelling place is the Lord, where we reside never changes. We may be absent from the body but our spirit continually abides in Him.