A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
Scholars have suggested that Moses wrote this Psalm soon after the events of Numbers 20, while leading the nation of Israel to the Promised Land. In that chapter, we read of four heartbreaks that Moses, the man of God, endured. His sister, Miriam died, He failed to obey the instruction of God in the miracle of producing water from a rock, and was told he would not enter into the Promised Land himself, he was denied travel through the land of Edom (ethnically cousins of Israel), and so was forced to continued leading the nation through the wastelands of modern-day Jordan, instead of along a well-groomed, direct road. And his dearest, forty-year partner in minsitry, his brother Aaron, died. The death of dear family members, the death of a 40 year dream, and the denial of immediate needs to proceed in the task God gave him to accomplish; No wonder this is one of the most somber Psalms in the Bible, often read at funerals!
How does a man (or woman) “of God” respond to such loss, failure, and disappointment? Moses began by resting his hope in what he knew to be true about God: You have been our dwelling place in all generations… Profound words from a man who had spent at least one third of his life living in tents. A dwelling place is not simply a place with four walls and a roof, where people can go at the end of the day; it is a place marked by safety, protection, and peace. Moses had no such place left on earth. No people to share his life with, no place to call home, and finally, no earthly dream of such a blessed land anymore. All of those dreams and opportunities had flown from him like leaves in the wind. Even the land he stood on was not his own, and never would be in his earthly life. But from eternity past, God is God, wrote Moses. Before there were any mountains to climb or hills to own, or lands to conquer or houses to build, there was a lasting place of rest and safety—in God Himself. Before your dreams, whatever they may be, even existed, there was God.
Let’s pray that we would see beyond the present, temporary, difficulties and heartbreaks of this life, and cast our faith upon the only safe and secure Person there is—God Himself. Through obedient, joyful trust, do things His way, by His leading, today, and see if you don’t find yourself in a dwelling in His place, with God Himself. I hear there are all kinds of troubled people in that place; including a man who spent 40 years pursuing a dream of a Promised Land, only to find his promise was not in any particular land, but in the Lord of the land. You’ll be in good company.