Daily Bible Reading: Day 304
More hours in the day. Do you ever wish for more hours in your day? I read Psalm 90 this morning with that wonderful verse, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." It is not more hours that I need but rather to make good use of the hours I have been given. Setting priorities that are in line with God's Word. That is proving easy to say much harder to put into practice.
But what exactly is this Psalm telling us. Why is it important to "number our days" and what does that even mean?
Some scholars think that this Psalm was written my Moses. I am going with them on that. Let's look at where Moses starts his thoughts.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place1
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in ithe morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
God is timeless. God existed before the world began-from everlasting to everlasting-He has no beginning and no end. God is the Creator of all that exists and we are a part of His creation. He determines how many are our days. A proper perspective of our place in this world begins with recognizing who we are and who God is and that He is not to be trifled with.
Now that Moses has established who is really in control here it is time to move on to our relationship with the God who holds are lives in His hands.
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
God as Creator and Sustainer has every right to lay down the rules for us to follow. How are we doing with that? Not well at all. How many verses are there in God's Word that point out man's depravity. I, even I, have harbored sin in my heart. Have struggled to keep my thoughts on that which is pure and lovely and worthy of praise. Well, Paul has said it well, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) And then there is Moses. Think about his life as the leader of God's people during the exodus from Egpyt. The journey into the promise land was laden with disobedience, the death of those he loved, and the blow of not being allowed to set foot in the promised land himself after responding in anger that led to his own disobedience of God's word to him. He witnessed God's anger poured out on a sinful people and it was terrifying. Toil and trouble that is what we have brought upon ourselves. We do well to consider the power of God's anger. We do well to fear His wrath. This is a man who knows full well that it is indeed a "fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31)
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Number our days. I love this quote from James M. Boice:
"Of all the mathematical disciplines this is the hardest: to number our days. We count everything else, but we do not seem able to use our days rightly and with wisdom."
Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms 42–106: An Expositional Commentary (p. 744). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. When I woke up this morning I was still breathing but my last breath could come at any moment. So how important are the things I am investing my time in?
My reading today concluded with these words from James. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. -James 3:17-18, ESV
Praise God that IHe is my dwelling place, that He has rescued me from HIs wrath by pouring out the blood of His precious son to pay the penalty for my sin. Now let me learn to number my days and gain a heart of wisdom. The Promised Land may be closer than I think.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
Daily Bible Reading: Day 295
I have come to that part of Romans where the rubber meets the road, not only in my daily reading, but also in the sermons being preached among the believers at our little church. On Sunday we heard a wonderful charge to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought as we allow God to mold us into individuals made in the image of Christ; who truly showed us what that means as he humbled Himself even to death on a cross. Being like Christ starts with humility. (Romans 12:3) It is good to have that in mind as Paul continues to tell us what it looks like to walk as we should while on this earth.
The first thing addressed today in these verses from Chapter 13 is how we are to view those in authority.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.
For there is no authority except from God,
and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed,
and those who resist will incur judgment. -Romans 13:1-2, ESV
And dare we think that this does not apply to us today--our leaders in government are so corrupt, they are not men of God, whatever we think we can say of them--remember, Paul was writing to Christians living in Rome, not some happy Christian nation somewhere with a perfect government. I do not think we can let ourselves off the hook here. We may think that our elected officials are in office because of we the voters, but ultimately God is the One who placed them there and He tells us we are to submit to their authority. That to resist them is to resist God. We may not agree with our president, our senator, our governor, our mayor, and even at times our pastor, but we need to recognize that the power they have was given them by God, yes even the bad leaders out there (again, remember Paul was directing this to Christians living in Rome at the time--talk about corruption and evil...) There is nothing here that says I do not need to submit to them when I do not like their policies and practices. How does it bring glory to God when I constantly speak ill of the president? A shepherd named David comes to mind who would not lift his hand against the king who was trying to kill him, even when opportunity seemed to fall in his lap to do so. Daniel also comes to mind-sometimes God appointed kings to power to bring about His judgement on Israel. Oh, this christian life is not an easy one is it?
Therefore one must be in subjection,
not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience..
For because of this you also pay taxes,
for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed,
revenue to whom revenue is owed,
respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. -Romans 13:5-7
Now that we have wrapped our minds around respecting those in authority Paul moves us on to loving one another. There were those who were saying at the time Paul wrote this letter that you could be saved by grace and continue to sin-grace freed you to live however you wanted. It is time for we too "to wake from sleep for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed."
Owe no one anything, except to love each other,
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments,
“You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,”
and any other commandment, are summed up in this word:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.
For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
The night is far gone; the day is at hand.
So then let us cast off fhe works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
-Romans 13:8-14, ESV
I do not know about you, but that gives me plenty to pray about this morning as I continue to ask God to mold me into the image of His Son. It gives me plenty to work on as I go about my day. May these words from God dwell richly in our hearts.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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