Lord, Teach Us To Number Our Days
"So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)
Time is precious to God and so are we. The Bible tells us that "our times are in God's hands"...but what we do with the time given to us will not only matter for humanity but for all eternity. We all have hands that can work for God and hearts that can apply God's Word in ways that are either wise or foolish. Thus, it is wise for us to stop and take a step back to consider whether our lives are in full alignment with God or not.
The human instrument that God used to write Psalm 90 was Moses. Now Moses lived through three distinct periods of his life, each lasting for 40 years. In the first period, he was not fully aware of his identity and calling. In the second period, he embraced his God given identity but needed to go through a wilderness season to unlearn what he had learned in Egypt. In the final period of his life, he was able to be sent back into the world he grew up in as a man with a clear calling to deliver God's people from their bondage.
Moses began this powerful and prophetic prayer with the timeless truth that the Lord has been "our dwelling place throughout all generations." The Lord's presence is always present in our present circumstances. No matter what hardships we might be facing or that is going on in the world today, we must know that we are never alone. God is with us and keeps His promises to His people. O how important this glorious truth is!
Moses understood that there is a reaping of whatever is sown but he also knew that God could redeem His people and restore the wasted years. He writes, "You turn man to destruction, And say, “Return, O children of men” (v. 3).
There are many things that dictate the way we may think or live in this world. If we are not careful we might end up living our days in a daze of deception and miss what God is desiring to accomplish in each of our lives.
We all need to regularly return to our first love and revisit our calling and purpose. This is what it means to number our days and gain a heart of wisdom. We are called to redeem the time because the days are evil and awake out of our sleep knowing our salvation is nearer today than when we first believed. Even now there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven and we can trust that God will make all things beautiful in its time" (Eccles. 3:1,11).
No matter what is going on in the world or in your life at this time, you need to be living with a strong sense of hope that God is even now working all things together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose.
Israel is an important marker for how God is working in the world. Since Israel is the fist nation of people that God made a covenant with, we would be wise in learning from how God has dealt with them throughout history and how faithful God has been to keep His promises to them. Jesus told His disciples to discern the times and seasons and to be watchful and walking in the truth until He comes again.
In Joel 2:22-26, the Lord spoke concerning Israel these words:
"Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; For the open pastures are springing up, And the tree bears its fruit; The fig tree and the vine yield their strength. Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. 'So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..."
Since Israel was often likened to a fig tree throughout Scripture and God reveals in Jeremiah 24 that there can be "good figs" and "bad figs", we must consider a couple of parables involving a fig tree that Jesus gave concerning Israel. Jesus gave a parable in Luke 13:6-9 about a man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard seeking fruit on it but he found none. In Jesus' first coming, the nation of Israel as a whole rejected Jesus as their Messiah and this caused the symbolic cursing of the fig tree.
However, in Mark 13:28-31, Jesus gave another parable concerning the fig tree, in the context of the last days, speaking of the generation that would see the rise of Israel once again. He says, "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near...Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place."
Since Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948, we can know that we are living in unique times from a biblical prophetic perspective. However, since no man knows the day or hour of the Lord's return, we should wisely consider and count all of our days as precious in order to ensure that we make make each day count for eternity.
In the first half of Psalm 90, we see God telling His people to “Return, O children of men.” But in the last half of psalm, we see the call unto God, "Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!" (v.13-14).
This is OUR CALL dear saints: To repent and rejoice in the Lord and to invite others to do the same...until we are united with Him in glory!