Happy New Year to you dear reader. I have no doubts you have plans for this new year and most importantly plans to please God if you are a believer. Indeed this is the period of the year many resolutions are made towards that. In this article, I want us to briefly look at a prayer prayed many centuries before our time, yet with profound lessons to aid us in this new year. The prayer is Psalm 90. It is one of the wonderful prayers in the Bible from which we are able to glean some lessons useful to go through this new year.
I will attempt to address what I mean by number your days and live wisely.
Live Coram Deo
Living Coram Deo is simply living our lives with the consciousness of the presence of God that our everyday lives are open to God. This therefore calls for a life of intergrity and wholeness in Christian attitude. For the believer and even the unbeliever; we cannot live anywhere but in the full glare of God’s presence.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where y shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me ( Psalm 139:7-10).
In Psalm 90, the Israelites have been wandering in the wilderness enroute to the Promised land since they set off from Egypt. A lot has happened during these times. Moses in vv. 1-11 acknowledged God’s hand and presence in their sojourning all those years: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.” (v.1) Here is an affirmation of God as the Israelites’ very existence and a truth we must acknowledge and live by with the understanding that our whole lives are before God; the Creator to whom we owe our lives and to whom we must seek for direction.
Dependence On God
To live Coram Deo also necessitates dependence on God. He knows what we don’t know which calls for us to seek his guidance. In verses, 12, Moses aptly captured this when he prayed; “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” and this verse is where the title of the article comes from. Now this prayer is one for direction and guidance from God. It was a prayer of dependence on God. God created us and until we have learnt to depend on him, we will forever live a self-destructive life. It was St Augustine, in his Confessions who said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” This is a good place to ask “What place has God in your life?” Since God created us, we must live our lives to please him.
Consider That Life Is Fleeting
Wisdom demands we acknowledge the brevity of life. 2017 has just passed with the speed of light. Some of those we started the year with have passed on into eternity. Life is short. We are not here to stay forever. We are on borrowed time. Human life is so fragile; like leaves, today we are, tomorrow we are gone. Moses tells us this brevity of life in v.5: “You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.” Not oblivious of humanity’s frailty, Moses prayed for wisdom to number their days.
Moses’ prayer is a prayer asking for wisdom not to be wasteful of the few days humankind has on earth. Our days are limited and we must not lose sight of this. Every passing day brings us close to eternity. Wisdom is the right application of the knowledge we possess, in this case our understanding of the brevity of life and living accordingly. When we pray for God to teach us to number our days; we are in effect praying for wisdom: “that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (v.5). Proverbs 90:10 tells us “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Do you fear God? Do you have a relationship with him or you are only living your life to please your self? Let not this year be a self-pleasing life for “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&41).
In the New Testament, James tells us that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God. ” He didn’t stop at that; he assured us that that prayer would be answered: [God] gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5). Paul in his letter to the Ephesians admonished them saying “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph.5:15-16 KJV).
Your life is not your own. You are accountable to God who made you. In 2018 and beyond, make it a point to live a life pleasing to the Lord.