Reading: Psalm 39:6-13
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, LORD, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—surely everyone is but a breath.
“Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more” (NIV).*
Today’s reading is the concluding portion of Psalm 39. In this psalm we find David in a silent, reflective mood. He contemplates the brevity of life and the certainty of the grave. In the previously posted psalm portion he prayed, “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.”
Why would knowing the number of our days matter? Well, it should focus our minds on making the most of the time available to us. Our days on this earth are not infinite. We are each allotted a predetermined number of days. In Psalm 139, another psalm attributed to David, we read, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).
We have no control or at best limited control over the number of days we live on this earth. But how and with whom we spend those days is within the range of our effective will. I can break my marital vows and my wife’s heart, or I can be true to her and my words spoken before God. I can love and raise my children in godly discipline, or I can neglect them, or alienate them through harsh punishment. I can be faithful to my Redeemer or I can turn my back on Him. These decisions fall within the scope of my will. In this life and the next I will be accountable for the decisions I make. Undoubtedly, this is why David cries out, “But now, LORD, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Save me from all my transgressions.”
Response: LORD God, I need your saving help. Through the redemptive blood of Jesus keep me from being trapped and controlled by my transgressions. I need your presence in my life so I can make the most of my days. May your Kingdom rule extend to me and through me to others. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you think you would live your life differently if you knew how many days you had left? What priorities would change?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.
Pastor Randy said:
If I knew the exact number of my days–I might be tempted to think only on the last day. I hope and pray, though, that I would focus on the present moment and what God wants for me! Thanks for the challenging question!
Wise use of our time is so essential. Lord, help us all.
Regardless of the number of days, “Today is the day of salvation”, let my heart, soul, and mind focus on that and be forever grateful for the blood of Jesus that washes away all of my sins.
Gratitude paves the Highway to heaven.
Alan Kearns said:
If we knew “the day and hour” our dedication to prayer and our Father may be wrongly motivated; He wants our love to be from our heart rather than on circumstances. Reflecting on this reminds me of a saying from my mum: “if folk can’t come to see me when I am living, I don’t want them at my graveside!”
Good point, Alan. If heaven is infused with the presence of Jesus why would sinners want to go there? They avoided Him through their entire life.
Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there. How blessed we are when we get a taste of His presence in the here and now!
Vincent S Artale Jr said:
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Thanks for reposting, Vincent.
Vincent S Artale Jr said:
My pleasure David 🙏🏻