The Dwelling Place
A daily devotion for October 5th
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn men back to dust,
saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men."
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
they are like the new grass of the morning-
6 though in the morning it springs up new,
by evening it is dry and withered.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90:1-2).
In this psalm Moses begins by declaring that God has been the dwelling place of people in all generations. What is a dwelling place? It is where you live, your home. This statement declares that God has been the home of humans ever since they have been on the earth. In all generations, God is where they continually live. You will recognize that this is the same truth Paul uttered when he addressed the Athenians on Mars Hill. He explained to them that God is not far from any of us (even pagans, he points out),
for in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). God exists as a home for people.
That is a tremendous thought, isn't it? Here Moses is looking back over the course of human history and declaring that God is great because He is the God of history. Moses had seen pharaohs live and die. Perhaps he had seen the tombs of the pharaohs and noted the many who in the past had been laid to rest. Despite the passing centuries, there is no change in the relationship of humans to God. He has been the home of people for all generations.
Then Moses points out that God is the God of creation. Here he is looking back across that record and saying that before the mountains were formed, God was. Then before that, he
brought forth the earth and the world. To us that is saying the same thing, but in the Hebrew it is literally
the earth and the land. God formed the earth first and then later brought out the land from the waters, as the book of Genesis makes clear. The land emerged from waters that covered the earth. So Moses is gradually moving back in time from the formation of the mountains to the emergence of the land and finally the creation of the earth itself. Before all this, God was.
Then he takes a longer leap into timelessness and says,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Surely here is the greatness of God. He is the God of history. He is the God of creation. But beyond all that, He is the God of eternity. He is beyond and above His creation. He is greater than the universe He produced, and before it existed, He was. In fact, the Hebrew here is again very interesting. It suggests the translation,
From the vanishing point in the past to the vanishing point in the future; thus, from everlasting to everlasting God exists. How great He is!
When I think that Moses, so many long centuries ago, understood these great facts about You, I am inclined to cry with him,Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Life Application: Home is where the heart is. Have our hearts found that place of Sabbath rest in Him who is our true home? He is seeking us; are we seeking Him?
From your friends at www.RayStedman.org
Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.