Man’s sin and frailty leading to the cry for the better days

If antiquity has worth, then this is the oldest psalm in the Psalm book, as it was written by Moses. There is a marked contrast between the eternity and immortality of God, and the frailty and mortality of man. Man’s life is withering and shortly cut down, whereas God’s existence is from everlasting to everlasting.

If then we are of short duration, and our iniquities are open before God and liable to the power of God’s wrath, then we ought to number our days. We should take stock of our lives, and seek that wisdom that will make us wise unto salvation. So instead of working moroseness in us over the brevity of our lives, there would be gladness and joy because of His mercy to us.

Believers desire that the beauty of the Lord would clothe them. This could mean the effect of sanctification dressing them, but also it could be the white linen of the righteousness of Christ, giving them a beauty that is acceptable to God.

Psalm 90

   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.

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St Anne