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Like Grass

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Scripture: They are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up. Psalm 90:3, 5 (NKJV)

Observation: This psalm is attributed to Moses which would then make it the oldest psalm written.  Verses 3-6 describe life much like grass as a cycle of growing and dying.  In the morning, grass flourishes and grows up, but in the evening the grass is cut down and it withers.  This image is repeated in various other places in the bible (See Ps. 37:2 72:16; 103:15; Isa. 40:7; James 1:10, 11).  On the other hand, God’s eternity and permanence is contrasted with man’s short life – for God a thousand years are like yesterday when it is past.  The “Lord” (a title indicating sovereignty) is the true “dwelling place” (home, refuge) of each succeeding generation. Whereas man’s life is brief and changing, God abides.

Application: When compared to God, the 70 or 80 years we live are so minuscule.  Maybe that is why the psalmist compares our life span to grass.  Grass grows and dies and sometimes we don’t even notice that cycle, except when we have to mow it.  When we have lots of rain the grass grows unstoppably.  It seems like we have barely finished mowing it when it needs mowing again.  And once we mow it, the grass clipping get mingled with the rest of the grass and eventually come to be part of the entire grass spread.

How many blades of grass are in my yard?  I have no idea! And maybe that’s another reason why Moses compares his people to grass. . . so many are born, grow up, and eventually die that it almost becomes commonplace, imperceptible unless it happens to a loved one.

But there are several things in the words of this psalm that I find encouraging:
1. It confirms what other places in the bible present explicitly or implicitly – death is like a sleep. . . a dreamless, undisturbed, sleep that ends the morning of the resurrection.
2. While we are like grass that grows and dies, there is that hope in that morning when we will again grow up. . . except that we will never wither again.
3. Moses uses this image to remind us that while our life is short and temporary, our God is permanent.  As many people as have died in the past, for many generations, God has “been our dwelling place in all generations” (vs. 1).   We don’t need to fear death, because God is always with us in life and through death.

The next time a loved one goes to his or her sleep of death we can be comforted in the knowledge that God will be with us as He has been with every other generation in the past.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, thank You for the knowledge of your permanence in our lives for it removes our fear of the future and of death.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.