Who considers the power of your anger

and your wrath according to the fear of you?

So teach us to number our days

that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:11-12

Over the past few weeks we have seen strong economies and flourishing nations seemingly fall to nothing within a matter of days. As discouraging and frightening as these present times feel, in a strange way, it’s also given us a good deal of time to reflect – to look at the things that we’ve spent so much of our personal lives invested in and to see how important these things are when all the world is fading away.

Psalm 90 is a reflection on the nature of time. More particularly, it’s a reflection on how we are to perceive the subtle day-by-day moments of our lives in light of the ever-present eternity of God.

The psalmist begins his song contemplating how even before the firm foundations of the mountains were laid, God stood. No beginning. No end. No subtle shift or shadow of change. Simply there. And it is only by his free and generous will that he chooses to give life to that which is temporary and finite. He upholds the mountains. He commands sun to shine and administrates the delicate balance of our stars and planets, all while consciously providing food and shelter to even the sparrows of the earth.

And more importantly, he is the one who will call it all to an end. In spite of all of our efforts to maintain our lives, all our struggle for significance, meaning, power, and strength, God will one day call all of us to account in judgment. All the empires of men will fall, and all the glory of youth will fade. All that will be left is who we are before God. What short cuts or compromises we’ve made for the small glories of a fading kingdom will one day be judged by our eternal God. What will we say? That we valued the present more than eternity? That we feared the condemnation of our peers more than the eternal vision of him who is above all? According to the Psalmist, if God is truly who we say he is, then surely our time and effort spent chasing after that which is not God can be truly seen for the childish immaturity it really is.

In light of the eternity of God whose Word alone is ultimately true and final, how are we to live in that which is fleeting? The psalmist answers this question clearly: we pray that the Lord will teach us to number our days. The eternity of God does not call us to squander our limited time on earth. Rather, those who serve him who reigns from eternity to eternity have all the more reason to spend our days loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and might.

Though the esteem of man and the allure of this life will all one day fall silent in light of eternity, God remains. His judgement of us will last forever. And lest we forget, his pleasure in even the smallest things done out of authentic love for him resounds in all the halls of eternity from end to end.

So teach us to number our days, Lord, in light of the ever present reality of you. Help us not to live our lives chasing after that which will one day fade. But as we conduct ourselves here on this earth, let us not grow weary in well doing. Satisfy our longings with a small glimpse of eternity, and remind us once again that while man’s judgments may fluctuate and fall, your declaration of our status as your children stands firm from all the ends of eternity.

~ Theo