To Number Our Days

In Psalm 90, a prayer goes up to Heaven for God to teach us how we must number our days. God, the Creator of our universe, the architect of our units for time, who spoke light into existence and formed the first day of "the evening and the morning," wants to teach us how to number our days that we may use them wisely.

In all the Psalms, there is only one Psalm said to be written by Moses - the servant through whom God delivered His holy law, and with whom God held regular and open communion, throughout his one hundred and twenty years upon this earth. That Psalm is Psalm 90. This attribution and superscription goes back to the ancient Hebrew, assuring us of the origins of this humble prayer, from the meekest of men upon the earth (Numbers 12:3).

What did Moses pray?

He prayed about God's eternal nature, God's provision of safety, God's call to salvation and wisdom, and God's provision of spiritual life, heavenly joy, and eternal life. Moses appealed for God's direction and instructive help that we may wisely use our days upon this planet, when we live out our few "years as a tale" that has been told, while God Himself inhabits eternity and "a thousand years" are "but as yesterday" when they are past in His sight (Psalm 90:4, 9).

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).

It is in the spirit of this prayer that we are to study out, through God's help, how to use our days, our time allotted by the Lord. We are in continuous need of His wise direction.

We may live "threescore and ten" years (i.e. 70), or perhaps 80 if strong, as Moses says, or even 100, but if we live not these years according to God's wisdom then so much precious value, precious life, and precious influence will be lost for eternity.

Why do we not use our few moments of life upon this twisted planet to seek God and to point other souls to our eternal Redeemer? In so doing, we would open the doors of eternity widely to so many who sit in the chains of darkness and hopelessness.

This prayer of Moses, in verse 12, reminds us of several things:

  • We must petition God to teach us ("ask, and it shall be given"-Matthew 7:7). God will answer mightily by the teaching of His Spirit, for He loves to give good gifts unto His children, and He has promised His Spirit as our teacher - claim the promise! (Luke 11:13; John 14:26). "Ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2).
  • "To number our days" reminds us to measure, to consider, to count, to plan out wisely. We should do so because our journey on this planet is very short and limited. But our influence here, no matter how long we stay, can be very meaningful and significant, when we choose God and His goodness.
  • We need to "apply our hearts" in the grandest of causes and pursuits. Excellent living doesn't happen by mere chance or accident. Wonderful life and godly influence are intentional, not accidental. God wants us to live intentionally for Him and His cause. We must "apply" our souls to this purpose, seeking God, and doing His counsel. We must be dedicated to this pursuit. It must be our life-long endeavor to live in and for God.
  • We need all this application to reach and rest in true wisdom. Our hearts must be applied to wisdom. True wisdom is found in God alone. We must seek God, the Source. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10; Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10). God calls the entire world to this, to "fear God," keep His commandments, and worship Him as our Creator (Revelation 14:7,12; Ecclesiastes 12:13). We are called to live and to share this message of truth and good news with all who live upon this planet (Rev. 14:6-7).

The prayerful Psalm of Moses continues with many other wonderful thoughts. Thoughts such as praying for God's mercy to "satisfy" and quench our thirsty souls, to make us "glad all our days," in God (v.14), to give us joy over sorrow and in spite of sorrow upon this earth (v.15), to open our eyes to God's work and glorious character (v.16), and for God's beauty (His loving character and grace) to shine upon us that our work may be established in Him - making our lives a valuable and lasting testimony to God upon earth (v.17).

It is for certain that we should be praying the prayer of Moses in our own lives.

O God, I pray, please make us the people you want us to be, that we may live out our days, for the glory of Your name, and light the world for eternity, filling hearts with joy, by numbering and using our days aright, according to Your perfect wisdom! For this I pray, in Jesus' name, Amen.

God bless you to this end, my friends!

Pastor Ben

PS - On January 17, 2022 we will begin a 12-lesson (4-week) online Facebook Challenge - A biblical time and life management challenge, in line with everything we have looked at in the prayer of Moses above. It's a FREE online challenge, bible-based, and you are welcome to join it, if you like.