PSALM 90—THE SAINTS TAKE GOD AS THEIR DWELLING PLACE
Now we must go on to Book IV, keeping in mind the message of the first three books. Book IV tells us that the saints, being joined to Christ, are one with God, so that He can recover His title over the earth through Christ in His house and city. This sentence is full of meaning. The earth is the Lord’s, and now He is coming to claim His legal right and title over the whole earth through Christ in the church. This is the message of Book IV.
Book IV contains seventeen Psalms, exactly the same number as Book III, and these seventeen are clearly divided into three groups: Psalms 90 to 92, Psalms 93 to 101, and Psalms 102 to 106. Not only are all five books of the Psalms in a wonderful sequence, but each separate Psalm within each book is in good and perfect order. Let us consider now Psalms 90 to 92, the first section of Book IV, which reveal how the saints, identified with Christ, are practically one with God.
Psalm 90 tells us something of the deeper experiences of the saints concerning God. Let us compare Psalm 90 with Psalm 1. Psalm 1 says that the man is blessed who keeps the law. But Psalm 90 says, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (v. 1). Which one of these Psalms do you prefer? Do you still love Psalm 1? There is no comparison. Psalm 1 ends in this way: “For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” But Psalm 90 concludes by saying, “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it” (v. 17). What a difference! Psalm 90 begins with the Lord as our dwelling place and ends with the beauty of the Lord. This is certainly not the teaching of the law. Psalm 90 tells us that the eternal God is our habitation. We may find in God our everlasting home. A thousand years to Him are but as yesterday when it is past and as a watch in the night—a mere two or three hours (v. 4). Such a God is our dwelling place. We may dwell in Him; we may abide under His covering, and thus His beauty will be upon us. It is not a matter of keeping the law, but of taking God as our dwelling place. It is a matter of putting the eternal God upon us as our beauty.
“Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place.” “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands.” If we are in such a position, we are those who are really working for God, and our work will be established by His hands. It is not keeping the ten commandments, but dwelling in God and letting His beauty be upon us. Only thus are we qualified to do His work, and so our work will be established by His hands. This is Psalm 90.
PSALM 91—CHRIST TAKES GOD AS HIS DWELLING PLACE
From Psalm 90 we go on now to Psalm 91, a Psalm of Christ. It tells us how Christ takes God as His dwelling place and dwells in God. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan quoted Psalm 90. (He knows the Bible much better than we do.) He said, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Matt. 4:6). He was quoting Psalm 91:11 and 12, and in so doing he proved that Psalm 91 is a Psalm of Christ.
Verse 1 of this Psalm says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Thus, the saints and Christ are identified as one. The saints take God as their dwelling place, and Christ takes God as His dwelling place. How good! Verses 1 to 13 of this Psalm tell us how Christ takes God as His refuge and trusts in God, and verses 14 to 16 speak of Christ setting His love upon God, calling upon God, and enjoying God’s presence and deliverance.
(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)