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Reading: Psalm 90
(Verses 7-12)
We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
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.
If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom (NIV).*


River ice — photo by David Kitz

As we draw near to the close of this momentous year, this Psalm offers much for us to consider. The finite nature of our lives here on planet earth should cause us to give serious thought to how we spend the days that we have been allotted. Once we reach the age of forty, roughly half of our life is over. Some claim it’s all downhill from that point forward. Life seems to speed up—to pass by quickly— as we careen toward our demise.

Moses concludes his prayer here in Psalm 90 with these words: Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

No one wants to reach the end of their days and then realize that they have wasted their life. In our hearts, we all want to have a meaningful life filled with purpose. Much of that striving for success and our drive for a long list of accomplishments comes from a desire for meaning and purpose in life. Moses certainly had a string of achievements on his resume before the LORD called him home. He was after all the liberator of a nation. He was revered as a great leader and the great law giver. But was that due to Moses’ great ambition?

The Bible paints a different picture of Moses. When God called him into service, Moses resisted. The adopted son of Pharaoh was content to shepherd a few sheep on the backside of the desert. But God had other plans—bigger plans. This is what we are told about Moses. Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).

Perhaps true wisdom begins with humility—with knowing our place in the grand scheme of things. It starts as it did for Moses by hearing God’s call and ultimately being willing to obey, whatever that takes and wherever that takes us.

Response: LORD, teach me to number my days, so I may gain a heart of wisdom. Give me ears to hear what you are saying to me. I want to live a meaningful life filled with purpose coming from you. Amen.

Your Turn: Are you numbering your days or are they numbering you? Are you following God’s call and purpose for your life?

* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 265-page daily devotional book visit Amazon and enter David Kitz into the search bar.