Book 4, Psalms 90-106
We’ve got 70 years, then dust
God created this world
A prayer of Moses, a man of God1Lord, you have been home to us
For as long as we’ve been a nation.
2Before that, and before you made the mountains
You created the earth—this entire world.
From the beginning of eternal
To the end of everlasting
You are God.
From dust to dust in 70 years3When we die, you turn us back to dust.
You tell us, “Go back to where you came from.”
4A thousand years to us
Is like yesterday to you.
Or just last night.
5You take people in their sleep.
Early in the morning their lives flourish
Like grass in the field.
6They sprout and grow strong.
But by nighttime,
They wilt, wrinkle, and wither away.
7Your anger swallows us up and spits us out.
We’re terrified of enraging you.
8You’ve taken our secret sins
And put them on display.
You’ve got them right in front of you
Where you can see them clearly.
9Day after day, you’re angry with us.
Our lives end in a gasp.
10A lifetime for us is 70 years,
Eighty if we’re strong.
But that stretch of time is work and worry.
In a flash it’s over, and we’re gone.
11Who knows what you could do
If you got angry enough?
Your rage, at the very least,
Matches our fear of it.
12Help us use the time we have wisely
So we become wiser people for it.
Come back to us, God13Please LORD, come back.
How long will it take?
Please have mercy on us.
14When the morning comes, come with it.
Nourish us with your kindness.
We want to sing happy songs again.
Give us back our joyful lives.
15You’ve given us plenty of trouble.
Now give us that much joy.
We’ve seen a lot of ugliness over the years.
16We’re your servants.
Show us what you can do for us.
Show our children the majesty of who you are.
17May the Lord God be happy with us
And make us successful.
May the work we do in our lives
Make our lives better.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. Most scholars say they doubt that the Moses of the Exodus wrote this psalm, partly because it refers to history after the time of Moses. Also, “of Moses,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by Moses, about Moses, or was inspired by Moses.
The meaning of the original Hebrew is uncertain. This is an educated guess. Other Bible versions say God “engulfs them” or “sweeps them away.”
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