“Teach Us To Number Our Days!”

October 14, 2013

Sunrise Rehoboth Beach DE 10/14/13
Sunrise Rehoboth Beach Delaware

“Teach Us To Number Our Days!”


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“From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised (Psalm 113:3). That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other (Isaiah 45:6). “Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:2,12).

Brooksyne and I have been here at the Delaware shore the last several days. We had a rainy weekend but it’s clearing off today and we look forward to some long walks along the boardwalk. Yesterday we attended church and the pastor, alluding to the rather overcast, drizzly weather said as he opened the service, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us be…miserable.” Of course the people corrected him and chuckled as they did so! (See Psalm 118:24)

Very early I walked down to the beach for the sunrise. I arrived on the boardwalk about an hour before and walked the entire 1 mile length both ways. It seems like it takes a long time from the first hint of dawn’s light to the actual moment the sun pops up over the eastern horizon. I may worry about certain things in life but I was not at all anxious about the sun rising. Sunrise over the ocean is astounding because it’s so clearly defined. First a slight sliver and then very quickly, in a matter of minutes, the full sun appears.

So for me it begins another day in this present life and testimony to the faithfulness of God. The day is the most fundamental unit of time going back to Creation.

I have met several people in life who can at any time immediately tell you how old they are in days, literally expressing today’s Bible verse. But I suspect most of us would need to do some math or use widget on the web. Today happens to be the 21,550th day since my birth and 13,673 days since Brooksyne and I said “I do”. (I used a widget!)

The Psalms are normally associated with David, but David did not write Psalm 90. It was written by Moses who lived about 400 years before David. Yet some inspired compiler placed his writing in the midst of the Psalm collection in the Holy Scriptures. The heading of this Psalm in the NASV is so interesting; “God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.” Transitoriness means “of brief duration.”

Our first verse powerfully expresses God’s eternity, “from everlasting to everlasting You are God.” The second verse expresses man’s transitoriness, “So teach us to number our days.” We do this because our days on this earth are numbered. “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

I may be able to count the days since I’ve been born but I don’t know how many more days I have on this earth or what my future holds. But I have learned that in the course of my life there is a lot I am unable to schedule or choose including trials. As a line in an old hymn states, “Every joy or trial falleth from above, traced upon our dial by the sun of love; We may trust Him fully, all for us to do – They who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly true.”

“Teach us to number our days” is in the form of a petition. The plural “us” is interesting and I include myself with Moses and others in making this petition. Moses lived some 43,800 days, but it seems to me that he wasn’t likely referring to keeping an up to date count of the days since his birth. Rather I believe he is calling us to recognize and give attention to the blessings and responsibilities of each day.

The purpose of numbering our days is “that we may present to You (God) a heart of wisdom.” This should be a foundational goal in life and a lifelong pursuit. Again James reminds us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (1:5). In light of the times we should be seeking God’s wisdom through the earnest study of His holy Word. Then we are able to exercise spiritual discernment as we listen to or read the news.

Moses goes on to say a couple of verses later, “Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14). The deepest source of satisfaction for the believer is God’s unfailing love. It is unwavering and inexhaustible; “Though the mountain be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken….says the Lord, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).

Today, in numbering our days, let us recognize that, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” There are no leap days on God’s calendar! We awaken each new day and choose to glorify God and serve Him with all our hearts.

The timeless challenge issued by Joshua echoes throughout the ages and is a fitting way to conclude this message: “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15).


Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, often the days converge into another and before we know it another year has passed.  Help us to be keenly aware of each new day and the opportunity it holds for us to build character and be engaged in our Father’s business. We want to daily turn to Your holy Word for wisdom so that we will present to You a heart full of godly wisdom and a life fully surrendered to You. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.


Sunrise Rehoboth Beach DE 10/14/13
Another view of today’s sunrise, a few minutes earlier than the photo at the top.

Alley in Rehoboth Beach DE
Last night we had a nice seafood dinner. Afterward we walked along the boardwalk and the streets of Rehoboth Beach. Here’s an alley off the main Rehoboth Avenue. During this trip we’ve run into two friends from Lancaster County. Saturday on the boardwalk and last night when a friend was leaving the boardwalk with his family in his car he spotted us walking, first recognizing Stephen by his suspenders!

Rehoboth Beach DE historical sign
Rehoboth, like a number of beach towns along the Atlantic Ocean such as Ocean City, New Jersey, has a religious element at its founding. It is also based on a Biblical place (see Genesis 26:22)

Rehoboth Beach DE house
We are staying in a cozy house along the main Rehoboth Avenue only a few blocks from the boardwalk. It was on the shore at one time, damaged in a hurricane and moved to its present location some 100 years ago. A friend who owns the house rents it out during the summer tourist season. He’s graciously allowing us to stay here over an extended weekend.

Moon over Rehoboth Beach DE
A view of the moon from Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.



Today’s Suggested Music
and SupplementalResources

“Teach Us O Lord To Number Our Days”  Video   by Bob Fitts

This evening Brooksyne and I plan to attend a concert with a group called “Indelible Grace” We have used their music numerous times on our site. They take older hymns and sing them to a newer arrangement while maintaining the rich lyrics. Tonight they will be in concert at the New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes Delaware. (This is the church we attended yesterday.) Indelible Grace Music was begun to help the church recover the tradition of putting old hymns to new music for each generation, and to enrich our worship with a huge view of God and His indelible grace. “Indelible” means that which is impossible to remove or forget. For information about Indelible Grace and the concert see here.

“Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken”  Video  Indelible Grace  An outstanding old hymn with powerful lyrics.

“Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” Video  Indelible Grace

Widget to determine how old you are in days.

 

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