NUMBERING MY DAYS
Lord, You are the eternal, self-existing One.
Read PSALM 90
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 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.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
a Psalm 90:17 Or beauty
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps 23:6).
This psalm of Moses may sound completely desolate and depressing in its outlook. Eventually, as they age, people realize that life is hard; there are times when the sun breaks through, but even “the best of them are but trouble and sorrow”(10). For many, the effects of sin are ever apparent, and living for God is not easy. Our days should be numbered, not our years, for they are so few. Moses had great mountain-top experiences with God, while experiencing the lows of tough leadership and personal sin. He knows what it is to cry out to God in the face of pain and struggle. He recognizes (8) that sin is ever-present and works against himself and God.
However, with God there is always hope. Man’s ultimate enemy, death, has been defeated. Death has lost its sting, for Christ has overcome. “Moses prayed that God would give him and his people as much joy in the future as the sorrow they had experienced in the past (15)” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Exultant, Psalms 90–150, Kingsway, 2004, p15). Our future, as heirs of God, will far exceed our comprehension. Moses never entered Canaan, but he did arrive at an exceedingly better place: the eternal Promised Land.
Do we number our days, or just the years? Are we living each day in the knowledge that everyone lived for Christ will far outweigh anything else? Scripture tells us that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (Prov 9:10). Once we acknowledge His sovereignty and our fragility, we can accept that His justice and mercy are matched only by His love. Ultimately, our days, however long they may be, reside in Him – and there is no safer place.
“Establish the work of our hands” (17). Ask God that today and all your days may glorify Him, whilst we look forward to eternity with Him.
Lord, we are so frail and our days so short. Teach us to walk with eternity in mind.