Before the mountains were born
Psalms 90:2 Moses sings of the infinite nature of God’s existence
”Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.“
Psalms 90:2 NASB1995
Today’s verse is probably the most beautiful description of the eternal nature of God to be found in the Bible. Psalm 90 is not a psalm of David or Asaph — the “usual suspects” we expect to hear from in the Psalms. Instead, it is a psalm of Moses.
Yes, that Moses. The parting of the Red Sea, get the stone tablets from God guy. This is the only song of Moses in the Psalms, although he does have some other psalm-like musical tributes in Exodus 15 and Deuteronomy 32. Psalm 90 is titled “A Prayer of Moses the man of God”, and Charles Spurgeon found inspiration on that title, saying:
“Moses was peculiarly a man of God and God’s man; chosen of God, inspired of God, honoured of God, and faithful to God in all his house, he well deserved the name which is here given him.”1
The psalm begins with the statement that “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.” It was so true for God’s people in the wilderness years, when Israel needed refuge, shelter, protection and nourishment. Sure, they had tents and a willing army of men, but God was truly their dwelling place and their protection.
In this verse, God is referred to by the Hebrew name אֲדֹנָי (ăḏōnāy), meaning the Sovereign Lord. That choice of name is important, as it was used primarily to indicate the ultimate supremacy of the One God. Other names for God are used in other places in the Bible, such as הָאֱלֹהִים (ĕlōhîm, the Mighty One) or יְהֹוָה (Yᵊhōvâ, essentially meaning God the Helper).
What Moses explains by calling God “Our dwelling place in all generations” is that His help had been with His people as their refuge and protection from well before the Exodus from Egypt, back to the days of the patriarch Abraham. Even in our current time, believers have their dwelling place — their home — in God. Even if we were living in a cardboard box in the middle of a desert rather than in a comfortable suburban home, it is in God we rest, where we can put away all pretense, and feel love and happiness.
Now that Moses has reassured us that God is our dwelling place, he cogitates on His eternal nature. How long has God been around? Since before the mountains Moses saw in the wilderness were made, He has existed. He formed the universe, the world, the mountains, everything.
How long has He existed and how long will God exist? “From everlasting to everlasting”, from an infinite past to an infinite future, He exists out of time and independent of His creation. As 19th Century British theologian Adam Clarke noted, “This is the highest description of the eternity of God to which human language can reach.”2
It’s fitting that this beautifully written psalm verse comes to us from the most important prophet of Judaism and a major prophet of Christianity, who passed along to the world the first five books of the Bible — the Torah (also known as the Pentateuch).
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, it is impossible for me to comprehend Your eternal existence and omnipotence, but I praise Your wonderful name that You have given me glimpses of understanding through Your Word. Through that same Word, I pray that I may know You more and increase in my love for You with each day that passes. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon "The Treasury of David: Volume 2" (Psalms 58-110) (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1988)
Clarke, Adam "Clarke's Commentary: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments with a Commentary and Critical Notes" Volume 3 (Job-Song of Solomon) (New York: Eaton and Mains, 1827)