There is something you and I have in common. God has given us each the same amount of time each day. We each have 24 hours. Each hour has 60 minutes. Each minute has 60 seconds. One of the hardest tasks for us each day is to use God’s gift of time wisely. Moses makes some fascinating observations about time in Psalm 90:10, 12, and 14. But he does more than just eloquently ponder the subject of time. He addresses the subject of time because of the wrath of God. Let’s notice his three lessons.
We should all recognize the time: “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” (vs. 10). According to this psalm, the average life span is 70 years. Sometimes, especially in America today, a person may even receive a few more years. Nevertheless, our time is soon used up. The psalmist explains that human frailty and anxiety are an expression of God’s judgment. The Lord’s “anger” and “wrath” create a barrier between the Lord and us, as we become more aware of our “iniquities” and “secret sins.” “Iniquity” denotes our awareness of sin, and “secret” sins are those hidden from the public eye but seen by the Lord. Since the Lord sees every sin we commit, His wrath is always there. Our lives are therefore marked by brevity and by vexation.
Verse 12 discusses how we should redeem the time: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Moses recognized the need for proper use of time. Our time should be spent acknowledging the brevity of time and the need to use our time wisely. The most important thing we can do with our time is please God. “See then that ye walk circum- spectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). To “number” one’s days is an act of recognition of the vast difference between God and finite humanity. The wise reckon continually with God’s existence and human accountability. They pray for “a heart of wisdom” and are receptive to divine revelation and instruction: “teach us.” Solomon wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
Finally, vs. 14 indicates that we are to rejoice through time: “O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” The sooner we find the mercy of God in Christ, and are satisfied with that mercy all our days, the happier we will be. True happiness in this life depends upon our obedience to Christ. Ecclesiastes 2:24 says, “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” God designed our lives to be fundamentally happy, but we are never able to truly rejoice through time unless we are Christians.
Let’s learn to use our time wisely. But let’s also understand the proper reason why time is so important. We all sin before God (Romans 3:23). Time is the only commodity that will allow us to change our spiritual condition. Take the time to think about your soul today.