Numbering Our Days

Psalms 90:9-12
INTRO: The Psalmist begins this chapter speaking about the greatness of God, the length of his existence, then compares it with man. He stresses the sins of man, and the brevity of his life, and in view of this brevity, gives us advice.
    A. How they are spent.
        1. “In thy wrath,” or “under thy wrath.”
            i. Compare with Deut. 32:15-25.
            ii. Thought is that man continually sins, and therefore “under
                God’s wrath.”
        2. “As a tale that is told.”
            i. Or, “as a  murmur,” scarcely noticed.
            ii. How insignificant compared to God’s eternity.
    B. Their duration.
        1. Seventy; possibly eighty years.
        2. Nothing compared to eternity.
    A. His anger.
        1. Has a right to be angry with man.
        2. Who can estimate its intensity?
        3. Man’s sin the cause of God’s wrath.
    B. His fear.
        1. “… in the measure which the true fear of God would imply” (Lange).
        2. Man is to fear God (Eccl. ).
    C. His wrath.
        1. God’s wrath will be apportioned according to, and commensurate
            with, man’s fear of him..
        2. Verse 11 is actually exegetical of verse 9.
    A. Numbering our days.
        1. Includes a recognition of one’s frailty (Psa. 39:4).
        2. A realization that our days are few ought to cause us to come
            to fear God.
        3. Yet many live as though their days were without number.
    B. Applying our hearts unto wisdom.
        1. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Pro. ).
        2. While here, man does many foolish things.
            i. Some deny the existence of God (Psa. 14:1).
            ii. Some distrust God (Psa. ).
            iii. Some refuse to obey God.
            iv. A fearful thing to fall into the hands of such a God (Heb. ).
    C. Wisdom demands certain things:
        1. A meditation on life’s brevity.
        2. Recognition of sin; willingness to turn from it.
        3. “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that
            getteth understanding” (Pro. ).
        4. “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be
            desired are not to be compared to it” (Pro. ).
CONCLUSION: Let us all realize our sinfulness and frailty compared to the eternal nature and sinlessness of God. Let us do as the Psalmist says: “Number our days,” and “apply our hearts unto wisdom.” The following poem by Edgar Guest should cause us to think on our frailties.

             AT THE END
The pride of him is ended now.
The chill of is on his brow.
    The lips that turned in scorn
On poverty and lack of skill
Are fastened closed, and oh, so still
    While those about him mourn.

Tomorrow when he's laid away
These things were his, someone will say
    But now at last, they're ours.
And one will come with smiling face
And proudly take the man's place,
    And rule his term of hours.

They will his gold and lands divide
'Tis always done when men have died
    But like him they will fall.
Though rich they be and great perhaps,
They'll learn when once life's last thread snaps,
    They have to leave it all.

How long, how long can man retain
The treasures which he strives to gain?
    How long the mortal boast?
No longer than he stays alive
A year or two, or twenty five,
    Or fifty at the most.

The king will hand the scepter down
The greatest man will leave the town,
    And leave his wealth on earth.
And when at heaven's gate he stands,
He'll find himself with empty hands,
    And wonder what he's worth.
                     - Edgar A. Guest