“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12).
Moses had already counted the days of man. Earlier in his psalm, he’d said a man gets seventy or eighty years. This is the rule of thumb. There, the days are counted.
But once counted, man must number them well. If he does, he will get a heart of wisdom, and this is a secret to the deepest joys of life. Like the cup of infinite youth, the heart of wisdom produces a vitality unparalleled.
So how does man number his days? What does it mean to number our days?
To count is one thing, but to number is to evaluate. A child can count, but only maturity can weigh the days of our lives. A novice can say, “Maybe I’ll have seventy or eighty years.” But the wise will know how to appraise those years.
According to Moses, only God can teach this to us. Without God, His eternality, His glory, and His power, man has no ability to accurately weigh his days.
If a man believes God does not exist, he will put too much weight on the days of his life. This is his only experience. If a man believes God reincarnates, he will put too little weight on the days of his life, for this is one of thousands of experiences. But if a man looks to the God of the Bible he will put an appropriate weight on the days of his life. He will see them as his only opportunity to walk by faith, but with a conclusion in the glory which will continue on in perpetuity.
One man sees a straight line with a start and stop. The second man sees a circle without end. The Christian man sees a line that continues on and upward endlessly with God.
But that man does see a difference between the next life and the one he now lives. How does God teach him to assess these days?
The values of life
Consider your value system. What, or who, do you value? Do you value relationships above possessions? Do you live as if that is so? Do you believe the eternal church community is vital, a priority? Do you believe the study of the Word of God is vital to life today? Does worship have an important place in your life? If God is first, how is this expressed?
The goals of life
Consider your life’s goals. Are your goals merely external in nature? Do you go beyond health and wealth goals? In what ways would you like to personally grow? Where would you like to see more fruit in your life? What goals would Christ have for your life?
The brevity of life
Consider the brevity of life. Are you conscious of how quickly life will pass us by? Does this help you endure seasons of difficulty or pain? How does the brevity of life give you perspective for your future? If we get seventy or eighty years (as Moses said), how would you like to live those years? Have you fallen into the trap of thinking the early years are the best years? Do you believe you can be fruitful in your latter years?
The seasons of life
Consider the seasons of life. Do you want the life of another season? Do you have difficulty embracing the season you’re in now? Are you willing to work slowly to build the life Christ has for you? Or do you want it all now? Do I expect a retirement pace during my hardworking years?
O God, teach us to number our days.