The Psalms of David in Metre

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Psalm 90

This psalm was composed by Moses, the man of God, some time after God had sentenced the Hebrews to wandering and death in the wilderness, Num. 14. In it, (1.) Moses comforts himself, and his people, with the eternal and unchangeable duration of God himself, and their interest in him, ver. 1-2. (2.) He humbles himself and his people with the consideration of human frailty, ver. 3-6. (3.) He submits himself and his people to the righteous sentence of God passed upon them, ver. 7-11. (4.) By prayer he commits himself and his people to their gracious and merciful God; and requests the sanctified use of their awful chastisements; the averting of divine wrath, and the bestowal of true comforts and joys; the returns of his favour, and the progress of his work of mercy among their children, ver. 12-17.

Let me sing this psalm, as but the tenant of an hour, who hath none assurance of his present life: Sing it as resigned to my lot on earth, however afflicted; as active in preparation for death; and committing myself and family to the God of truth as our Redeemer, our God, and our everlasting all.

A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place
in generations all.
2 Before thou ever hadst brought forth
the mountains great or small;

Ere ever thou hadst formed the earth,
and all the world abroad;
Ev’n thou from everlasting art
to everlasting God.

3 Thou dost unto destruction
man that is mortal turn;
And unto them thou say’st, Again,
ye sons of men, return.

4 Because a thousand years appear
no more before thy sight
Than yesterday, when it is past,
or than a watch by night.

5 As with an overflowing flood
thou carry’st them away:
They like a sleep are, like the grass
that grows at morn are they.

6 At morn it flourishes and grows,
cut down at ev’n doth fade.
7 For by thine anger we’re consumed,
thy wrath makes us afraid.

8 Our sins thou and iniquities
dost in thy presence place,
And sett’st our secret faults before
the brightness of thy face.

9 For in thine anger all our days
do pass on to an end;
And as a tale that hath been told,
so we our years do spend.

10 Threescore and ten years do sum up
our days and years, we see;
Or, if, by reason of more strength,
in some fourscore they be:

Yet doth the strength of such old men
but grief and labor prove;
For it is soon cut off, and we
fly hence, and soon remove.

11 Who knows the power of thy wrath?
according to thy fear
12 So is thy wrath: Lord, teach thou us
our end in mind to bear;

And so to count our days, that we
our hearts may still apply
To learn thy wisdom and thy truth,
that we may live thereby.

13 Turn yet again to us, O Lord,
how long thus shall it be?
Let it repent thee now for those
that servants are to thee.

14 O with thy tender mercies, Lord,
us early satisfy;
So we rejoice shall all our days,
and still be glad in thee.

15 According as the days have been,
wherein we grief have had,
And years wherein we ill have seen,
so do thou make us glad.

16 O let thy work and pow’r appear
thy servants’ face before;
And show unto their children dear
thy glory evermore:

17 And let the beauty of the Lord
our God be us upon:
Our handy-works establish thou,
establish them each one.