A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
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, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man to destruction, and say, “Return, O children of men.”
4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.
5 You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified.
8 You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil.
16 Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children.
17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.
“Establish the work of our hands” On the surface it sounds like a request to make what we build to last, but allow me to submit a different picture. Way back in Psalm 18 David says that it is God who trains his hands for war. In light of that, this request to establish the work of our hands reminds me of the image of a mentor teaching a skill to his apprentice. Whether it be father to son, mother to daughter, teacher to student, or any variation thereof. Where the mentor puts their hands on the student’s hands to guide them and establish the proper technique and muscle memory. Heavenly Father, don’t make the work of my hands to last, until you have first made what my hands produce to be something that honors you and is therefore worth lasting. Amen.