“LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.” (Psalm 90:1)
These are the tremendous opening words of the oldest psalm in the book of Psalms called, in its superscript, the “prayer of Moses the man of God.” Moses must have written it shortly before his death as he looked out over the promised land and realized that he himself would never live there (Deuteronomy 34:4-5). It did not really matter though, for he had lived in many places and none of them were really his home. As a baby he had lived for a brief while in a basket on the river, then in a queen’s palace, then forty years in Midian, and forty more years wandering in the wilderness.
Furthermore, he had been meditating on the men of God of previous generations (after all, he had compiled all their ancient records in the book of Genesis) and had found that they, too, like the apostle Paul 1,500 years later, had “no certain dwellingplace” (1 Corinthians 4:11). Adam had been expelled from his Garden; Noah lived for a year in an Ark on a worldwide sea, then the rest of his life in a devastated earth; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents in Canaan, and their descendants lived as slaves in Egypt.
Yet wherever they were, the Lord was with them. He had been their dwelling place, and this was Moses’ first thought as he composed his great prayer. He also had written down “the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death” (Deuteronomy 33:1). Its climax was this great assurance: “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (v. 27). The “refuge” of this promise is the same Hebrew word as “dwelling place” in our text.
We, like they, are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13), but “underneath are the everlasting arms.” Where the Lord is–there home is! HMM