God Our Habitation
By: Henry Morris, Ph.D.
“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.
Deuteronomy 34:4, 5 - And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. 5. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.
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 1500 years later, had “no certain dwelling place” (I 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.
I Corinthians 4:11 - Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace.
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.
Deuteronomy 33:1, 27 - And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. 27. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
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!
Hebrews 11:13 - These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.