|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
90:1-6 It is supposed that this psalm refers to the sentence passed on Israel in the wilderness, Nu 14. The favour and protection of God are the only sure rest and comfort of the soul in this evil world. Christ Jesus is the refuge and dwelling-place to which we may repair. We are dying creatures, all our comforts in the world are dying comforts, but God is an ever-living God, and believers find him so. When God, by sickness, or other afflictions, turns men to destruction, he thereby calls men to return unto him to repent of their sins, and live a new life. A thousand years are nothing to God's eternity: between a minute and a million of years there is some proportion; between time and eternity there is none. All the events of a thousand years, whether past or to come, are more present to the Eternal Mind, than what was done in the last hour is to us. And in the resurrection, the body and soul shall both return and be united again. Time passes unobserved by us, as with men asleep; and when it is past, it is as nothing. It is a short and quickly-passing life, as the waters of a flood. Man does but flourish as the grass, which, when the winter of old age comes, will wither; but he may be mown down by disease or disaster.
Verse 4. - For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday. Time has no relation to God; it does not exist for him. "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8) Therefore we must not judge his methods of working by our own. When it is past; rather, as it passes. And as a watch in the night. To the sleeper a night watch seems gone in a moment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday,.... Which may be said to obviate the difficulty in man's return, or resurrection, from the dead, taken from the length of time in which some have continued in the grave; which vanishes, when it is observed, that in thy sight, esteem, and account of God, a thousand years are but as one day; and therefore, should a man lie in the grave six or seven thousand years, it would be but as so many days with God; wherefore, if the resurrection is not incredible, as it is not, length of time can be no objection to it. Just in the same manner is this phrase used by the Apostle Peter, and who is thought to refer to this passage, to remove an objection against the second coming of Christ, taken from the continuance of things as they had been from the beginning, and from the time of the promise of it: see 2 Peter 3:4, though the words aptly express the disproportion there is between the eternal God and mortal man; for, was he to live a thousand years, which no man ever did, yet this would be as yesterday with God, with whom eternity itself is but a day, Isaiah 43:13, man is but of yesterday, that has lived the longest; and were he to live a thousand years, and that twice told, it would be but "as yesterday when it is past"; though it may seem a long time to come, yet when it is gone it is as nothing, and can never be fetched back again:
and as a watch in the night; which was divided sometimes into three, and sometimes into four parts, and so consisted but of three or four hours; and which, being in the night, is spent in sleep; so that, when a man wakes, it is but as a moment with him; so short is human life, even the longest, in the account of God; See Gill on Matthew 14:25.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
90:4 Past - Indeed time seems long when it is to come, but when it is past, very short and contemptible. A watch - Which lasted but three or four hours.
Psalm 90:4 Parallel Commentaries
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