February 21, 2020

Psalm 90:13-17

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?

    Have compassion on your servants.

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,

    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,

    for as many years as we have seen trouble.

16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,

    your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;

    establish the work of our hands for us—

    yes, establish the work of our hands.


It feels like we’ve been holding our breath for most of Psalm 90. We’ve seen anger and suffering and the alarming brevity of our earthly lives. We’ve been confronted by the eternal and holy nature of Godand asked hard questions about what those qualities mean for us. The psalmist painted a compelling picture of both those attributes. Compared to God’s eternity, we are little more than dust and grass. Because of His holiness, his anger at sin is all consuming. 

Yet, as overwhelming as that image of God is, we’re also offered a completely different side of God’s character. In this final section of Psalm 90, we can finally exhale. The great part about these verses is that we can see something in God’s nature as powerful as His eternity and holiness. Verses 13 and 14 call upon God’s compassion and unfailing love. Then comes a whole list of blessings that follow the love and compassion of God. We will find satisfaction and sing for joy. We will be made glad. God’s deeds and splendor will be revealed to us and our children. God’s favor will rest on us, and He will bring life to the work we do with our hands.

God’s love is so much greater when we see it in connection to His other attributes, because we can clearly see that His love is a choice. He’s everlasting, so our short lives are only tiny dots on his timeline. Still he chooses to focus in on the minutiae of our joy and trouble. He is holy, yet he chooses to engage with us in our brokenness and sin. What a tremendous gift! 

We started this week talking about Psalm 90 being a psalm full of contrasts. In the closing verses we see the psalmist swing from the despair of the opening verses to hope. It’s as if he realizes that the powerful God he fears harnesses that same overwhelming power to bring life and meaning. Take a moment to sit with God, but this time try to allow yourself to see Him as a relentless tsunami of love washing over you. How might your plans change if you allow yourself to be swept away in the compassion of an all-powerful God? My prayer for you is that you are able to soak up His attention, and let it infiltrate and hydrate the dryest, most hidden parts of your soul.

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