Teach Us to Number our Days

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), March 21 

images“I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan’” (Deuteronomy 31:2).

Moses lived 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in the wilderness as a shepherd, and 40 years in the wilderness leading people. Prior to his death, he assessed life, “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). This from a man who watched an entire generation die during his last 40 years.

Moses saw trouble. He watched his own people live in slavery while he received the best education available and was waited on by servants. His intervention was unappreciated, and he was forced to flee that life of ease and embrace a whole new existence–a different kind of trouble. Sheep. Loneliness. Loss of family and friends. A new and unglamorous career—until the day that God interrupted his life while on the backside of the desert. A new kind of trouble faced him: a stubborn Pharaoh. The Red Sea. A complaining and rebellious people. A waterless wilderness.

Yet in the midst of all of his trouble Moses experienced God. God’s unfailing love sustained him; therefore, Moses sang for joy and was glad all of the days of his life, “Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” (Psalm 90:14).

A good life isn’t one absent of trouble, but one of experiencing God as much as one can this side of heaven. Moses could look back over each of the 40-year increments of his life and see the activity of God.

Locating God in the midst of trouble is difficult; sometimes His presence cannot be sensed at all. That’s when faith kicks in! Faith in the goodness of God, the providence of God, and the truth that “all things work together for good” for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). Each day, week, month, year, and decade must be viewed through the faith filter, when eyes cannot see Him, when hearts cannot understand His way. Even then, we may not see His fingerprints. Heaven, however, will reveal His presence in the midst of our trouble. It will all make sense then.

The person who experiences a life of genuine fulfillment is one who looks for God in the face of trouble that comes his way and trusts Him when He cannot be detected. That is wisdom!

Questions from today’s reading (Deuteronomy 31:30-32:52; Psalm 90):

What does Moses’ song communicate about Israel?

What does Moses’ song communicate about God?

Why must Joshua and Israel continue singing Moses’ song?

Summarize truths about God contained in Psalm 90.