1. At the time of this writing we are in the middle of another year. The grains of sand on the hourglass for this year are rapidly pouring through
2. How are you using God’s golden moments? Will you reap glory or will you reap tears?
3. Perhaps, God in His grace will turn over another hourglass, full of another year’s worth of sand. However, there is no guarantee of this
a. This psalm was penned by Moses, the man of God - Deuteronomy 33:1
b. It is very much a psalm about time. Notice the following words:
i. "generations" - Psalm 90:1
ii. "everlasting" - Psalm 90:2
iv. "yesterday" - Psalm 90:4
v. "night" - Psalm 90:4
vi. "morning" - Psalm 90:5-6
vii. "evening - Psalm 90:6
5. There is a special emphasis within the psalm upon the brevity of time. In the tenth verse, Moses declares, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength, they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" - Psalm 90:10
6. Three pictures are used to portray how brief our lives are
a. Our days are as a sleep that is soon interrupted by morning - Psalm 90:5
b. Our days are like grass that grows and flourishes in the morning and is cut down and withers in the evening - Psalm 90:5-6
c. Our days are like a tale that is told and quickly comes to an end - Psalm 90:9
7. It is fitting that this psalm of Moses is about the quick passing of time. After all, the sand in the hourglass of Moses’ life stopped mid-stream, with much sand still on the top. Although he was one hundred and twenty years old, "his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated" - Deuteronomy 34:7
It should be with this in mind that we focus on the prayer of Moses: "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" - Psalm 90:12
8. With time in mind, let us consider this outline
a. A SPIRITUAL EDUCATION - "So teach us…"
b. A SOBER CALCULATION - "To Number Our Days"
c. A SENSIBLE APPLICATION - "That We May Apply Our Hearts Unto Wisdom"
a. Throughout the Psalms, we find individuals crying out for God to teach them.
i. "Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day" - Psalm 25:4-5
ii. "Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness" - Psalm 143:10
b. Teach means "to instruct" (Strong's 3045) - cf. Proverbs 9:9-11. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses used the word to refer to parental teaching. We read, "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons: Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children" - Deuteronomy 4:9-10
i. As you know, children need much instruction when it comes to using the time that they have been given. How many times, have you as a parent told your children to be getting ready to go, only to return some time later to find them unchanged, watching television, or playing a video game?
ii. Like our children, we also need much teaching from our Father on how to use our time. Without care, Jesus will return and find us off task.
a. It is truly sobering to contemplate the number of "our days."
i. Do you realize that our days on earth will one day be noted by a small dash between two dates on our tombstone?
ii. In the long ago, Job declared, "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble" - Job 14:1
b. Number means "to weigh out…to allot or constitute officially…enumerate or enroll…appoint, count…prepare, set, tell" (Strong’s 4487)
Earlier in the Psalms, we read, "LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah" - Psalm 39:4-5; cf. Psalm 89:47; Psalm 103:14-15; Psalm 119:84
a. Apply means "to come, to go, to bring" (Zodhiates 935). As it is used here, it likely means "to understand" or "to attain." Thus, Moses is asking for God to teach him that he might be wise in the use of his time.
b. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon often talked about applying one’s heart to wisdom. For example, consider what he wrote in the second chapter: "So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" - Proverbs 2:2-6
c. When we consider what God has taught us in His word about the number of our days, it will help us to better use our time. To the saints in Colosse, Paul wrote, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time" - Colossians 4:5; cf. Ephesians 5:15-16; Romans 13:11; John 9:4; Ecclesiastes 9:10
2. How are you using God’s precious moments?
-- Don Treadway, June 2007 --