Psalm 90:16, 17
Let your work appear to your servants, and your glory to their children.
This prayer, as referable to the Israelites, is a presage of the end of their pilgrimage, of their forgiveness, and of their settlement in Canaan. The issue of present Divine dealings was a glory which could only come to the children of the Mosaic generation. But Moses could properly pray that what God was actually then doing - his work by his disciplinary dispensations - might at once be revealed to his servants. To know what God is doing with us is our best help in bearing what burdens God lays upon us. And when we do know, we can even pray God to keep on his corrective work, whatever it may cost us, and let our children realize the issues. The "beauty" of the Lord may be taken as the Divine favour; or it may be a figure for the glory of the Divine presence. The prayer seems to embrace two things.
I. THAT GOD'S PURPOSE SHOULD BE MADE TO APPEAR. "Thy work." That prayer is constantly rising from the hearts of men. We are always wanting to know the meaning of life; the meaning of our lives; the meaning of our lives at particular times. What is God doing with us? Unto what, into what, is God leading us? This is only made known in answer to prayer, which reveals to God an attitude of mind and feeling to which his purpose and his work can be explained. God holds the key to every life story.
II. THAT MAN'S WORK SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED. This is the prayer of those who feel the uncertainty of life, and fear that they will be unable to complete what they have begun. The prayer may take two forms.
1. Permit me to finish the work I have started.
2. Let my children carry on to completion my work. Do not let it be lost and useless, as an unfinished thing. "Establish thou the work of our hands upon us" "When Moses prays that the 'children' of the present generation may see God's glory, he perhaps has in mind the exclusion of the latter from entrance into the land of Canaan. It was only to their children that this, the culminating and most glorious blessing, was to be vouchsafed." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.