Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17, NASB95)

It would do us little good to try and confirm the work of our hands ourselves.  The word “confirm” means: “to set, to make firm, to establish.”  Moses is asking God to take the work of God’s people and turn it into something useful, something valuable, something established and solid.  This would imply that we cannot do this.  We can do the work; we can make the effort, but God must make our efforts into something useful for him, otherwise we are spinning our wheels.

Solomon, who knew something about building things, makes essentially the same point as Moses:

Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1, NASB95)

We can work all we want, we can build beautiful buildings and strong towers that look like they will last forever, but unless the Lord is building our work, unless he is establishing it, we labor in vain.  So Moses’ prayer is our prayer: “Confirm for us, oh Lord God, the work of our hands.”

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