When confronted with the truth that God is everlasting, what is our response? Moses begins Psalm 90 with this declaration:
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
God is not just our God. He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. In all generations he has been our dwelling place–“our eternal home,” as Isaac Watts paraphrased this psalm. He is eternal, the God who is from everlasting to everlasting. Before creation, he was God, and will be when the created world has passed away. Never was there a time where he was not. The holy angels have been praising and worshipping him with veiled faces since He created them. Without ceasing his thrice holy praise is being lifted up at his heavenly throne by the seraphim. The Lord Jehovah is everlasting.
How do the Psalmist respond to this thought? How do you respond?
3 You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
The response is one of utter humility and acknowledgement of our weakness. We are going to die. Our lives are as short as a dream or the quickly fading grass. While our God is everlasting, we are vanishing. All this admitted by the holy prophet Moses, who spoke to God face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Ex 33:11). The ultimate moral of Psalm 90 comes out in verse 12:
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
The Psalm ends with a cry for grace:
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
God is everlasting, and we are vanishing. Therefore we should number our days, give ourselves to using our time in a sanctified manner, and ask the Lord for his grace. All this reminds us of Ephesians 5:15-17, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
And all this should tell us something about our worship. If God is everlasting, delighting in the majesty of his own Triune glory from all eternity, and if his holy angels have been praising him the unchanging God since their creation, what does that say for the little evangelical who thinks he can make God trendy to the unregenerate through contrived and idiosyncratic worship? If God exists unchanging before the creation of hills and mountains, how dare we try to mold the worship of the Eternal King to the latest popular stylings? How dare we relativize reverence or trample holiness with our own bad taste nurtured from over-satiating ourselves with the arbitrary spewings of Clear Channel and other venues whose sole function is feed the appetite? Truly God has become for too many temporal and not eternal, and the opposite response of Psalm 90 has resulted–now we are great and God is small.