“Oh God, Our Help In Ages Past” by Isaac Wattsby Dr. Zelda Robinson on March 9, 2022
This hymn, written by a teenage Isaac Watts, reflects on the 90th Psalm. The psalm is attributed to Moses, the leader of the Israelites out of Egypt. The psalm is a “prayer of Moses.” As Moses looks back over the years, back to God’s call of Abraham, God’s hand was always at work. Moses recalls a God who had always been a shelter and a refuge for His people.
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2
The hymn points to the fact that God is not limited by time. He inhabits eternity. God is outside of time. Even when we no longer exist, God will still be God.
our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home;
Under the shadow of thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God, To endless years the same.
A thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night, Before the rising sun.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream Dies at the opening day.
O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.
"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” 4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by,or like a watch in the night. 5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—they are like the new grass of the morning: 6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered." Psalm 90:1-6