Read Psalm 90
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 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.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Today’s reading is the first in Book Four of the Psalms, a group of passages focused on remembering our place and remembering who God is. It is also written by Moses, making it the oldest psalm in the Bible!
The fourth verse of this chapter helps us to see the main focus of today: “For you, a thousand years are a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” A thousand years is a long time, but let’s take a moment to think about how long that actually is. A thousand years ago, in the year 1021, the city we live in wasn’t even an idea in someone’s mind. The United States did not even exist yet. In America today, the average lifespan is 79 years. We would have to live our entire lives thirteen times to be alive for 1,000 years. Yet to God, 1,000 years is “a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” God is eternal, all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful, and we are far from that.
So how should we respond to this? Ephesians 5:15-16 gives us some insight: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (ESV). Read that again. “Look carefully then how you walk…making the best use of the time.” We don’t know how long we will live; only God does. Instead of wasting the time we do have, we should be intentional with it. Instead of saying we’ll get serious about God or start serving sometime in the future, we should do it today. Our life could end in a moment, and even if it doesn’t, our life is still short. We should be on fire for God while we can, storing up treasures in heaven that don’t fade when we die (Luke 12:33).
Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Even though God is eternal and so much bigger than us, we are still His workmanship, created for good works that God has laid out for us. Instead of waiting, let’s pick up our cross daily and follow Him.
- What is something that you’ve been planning on doing for a while but haven’t yet? Take a step towards that goal today.
- How have you been serving others recently?
- How can you better serve those around you and use your time wisely?
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