The Devastating Ravages of Death
Psalm 90:5
You carry them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which grows up.

The Israelites had not yet witnessed the swellings of Jordan, through which, by their Maker's presence and power, they were to pass dry-shod; but they had witnessed — and never could they forget, — the watery ramparts of the Red Sea, where, rejoicing in their God, they walked through the flood on foot, which the Egyptians essaying to do, were drowned. And while standing safe and victorious on the opposite shore, full of recollections of the country which they had left, they can contrast the regular, pacific, fertilizing flood of Egypt's river with the sudden and overwhelming inundation their eyes now behold, that awful flood which carries away their foes, when Pharaoh and his chosen captains, and their chariots and horsemen, and all their multitude are, in a moment, covered by the depths, and sink into the bottom like a stone; yea, the flood covers them, they sink as lead in the mighty waters.

1. The general idea intended to be conveyed by the phraseology before us is — destruction, fell, certain destruction, for such is the invariable consequence of a flood like that which is here supposed.

2. Such is the general idea intended by the phraseology before us; but connected with this, there are several special and subordinate ideas, which seem descriptive of some of the accompaniments of that visitation of Providence which is here referred to.

(1) The destruction caused by a flood is sudden. And this is a circumstance which adds, in no small degree, to the terrors of such a scene.

(2) The destruction which is caused by a flood is as indiscriminate as it is sudden. Wherever the flood spreads, it leaves some traces of its ravages. Like death, it has no respect of persons or property. It will enter kings' palaces as readily as the hovels of the poor; it will assail the crowded streets and densely-peopled lanes of a city equally with the lonely tenants of the sequestered vale. And it is no less indiscriminating as to the victims whom it engulphs. On it rushes with undistinguishing and resistless speed, passing by none upon its course, pitying none, sparing none.

(3) There is this other peculiarity in the ravages of a flood, like that which is here supposed, viz. that in its progress it is irresistibly powerful. So long as the fury of the torrent lasts, human skill and human prudence are altogether futile.

3. Now, if you combine together these different ideas, viz. that a flood presents the imago of certain destruction — that in its approach it is sudden — in its ravages indiscriminate — in its progress irresistible, you will perceive with what propriety it is here employed as an emblem of death.

(N. Morren, M.A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

WEB: You sweep them away as they sleep. In the morning they sprout like new grass.

Like Grass Which Groweth Up
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