Numbering Our Days
Psalm 90:12-17
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.…

This is a psalm of life and death, and one of the finest in the whole Bible. The comparisons made between the frailty and brevity of human life and the omnipotence and eternity of God are very striking. But a right use of the sense of mortality is a priceless blessing. We must all be accountants and arithmeticians in the best sense. Like the wise merchants we must frequently take stock in order to see where we stand. And we must also number our nights, with their blessings of rest and repose and renewal, for human life is incomplete without the night as well as the day.

I. Every man must come to his last day. We are born to die, and we die daily. Our home is not here, but yonder.

II. Man has a set time in which to live. Job speaks of certain bounds which man cannot pass. His life is fitted within certain boundaries by Divine Providence.

III. Man's life on earth is comparatively short. We are asked to number our days, and not our years or months or weeks. We must live a day at a time.

IV. Man is dangerously apt to forget this numbering. He allows the days to slip away unnoticed. He counts his oxen and sheep, but not his days. He numbers other men's days, but not his own. As Sir Thomas Smith said some months before his death, "It is a great pity men know not to what end they are born into the world until they are ready to go out of it."

V. The nature of the numbering advocated by the psalmist. "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." We cannot number our days rightly without the Lord as our Teacher. We must go in for numeration under Divine guidance. It is not mathematical but moral counting — a numbering that brings glory to God. The chief end of man is to seek wisdom — not riches, or worldly honours, or sinful pleasures — but wisdom and not the wisdom of the world, but that of God. We have emphasized the truth of man's mortality, let us also emphasize his immortality.

(J. O. Davies.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

WEB: So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Man Imploring the Mercy of God
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