Howard Hendricks mentioned a colleague of his who studied Psalm 90 and “figured his age from that point until age 70. He counted the number of days, and every day he subtracted another day from his calendar. Doing that would transform every day, because most of us have been living in the past or living in the future” (Confident Living, January, 1988, pages 51-53). He literally counted his days to make his days count.
I. Moses first answers the question, “WHY should we invest our time wisely for God’s glory?”
A. Because life is uncertain and death is imminent, we ought to invest our lives (Psalm 90:1-8)
First, Moses talks generally about all people in Psalm 90:3-6.
Moses gives three illustrations of the sinner’s brief existence on earth.
1) Man’s existence is like a flood in Psalm 90:5a. The Christ rejecter’s life is just as quickly ended as the generation of scoffers that the flood inundated and swept away in judgment in Noah’s day.
2) Man’s existence is like sleep in Psalm 90:5b. The apathetic and unconcerned are brought to an end like the person who pillows his head at night and instantly it seems the alarm sounds in his ear. To these Paul warned, “Awake you that sleep.”
3) Man’s existence is like grass in Psalm 90:5c, 6. Just as living, green, dew covered grass is cut and withers and dies and browns in 24 hours so is our life cut short because of the Fall.
Next, Moses writes more specifically about believers in Psalm 90:7-8.
Moses uses the words “we” and “our” in these verses.
Israel’s premature death stemmed from rebellion. All over 20 years of age were placed on death row and the wilderness became a huge cemetery. Our already short life can be shortened even more by our sins. The Corinthians are one example. 1 Corinthians 11:30: “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” We might be shocked to know how many believer’s lives are reduced 20-30 years because of sin. Moses gives us the next reason why we should invest our time wisely for His glory,
B. Because life can be wasted, we ought to invest our time (Psalm 90:9-10)
Their judgment was 40 years of killing time in Psalm 90:9. They were as unproductive as a nonsensical story told. Like the husband flopping down in front of the TV each evening watching story after story going to bed empty having done nothing for God. The epitaph on one man’s head stone read, “Died, age 24, Buried, age 67.”
Moses warns in verse 10, “Don’t let your life of 70 to 80 years be a life of wasted opportunities.”
Howard Hendricks wrote, “The significance of a life is not determined by its duration—it is determined by its donation.”
II. Moses next answers this question, “HOW should we invest our time wisely for God’s glory?”
Moses intercedes for his generation: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” The rest of the Psalm is the answer to this request. God is challenging each of us: “Do the math!” How much time do you have left to glorify God with your invested life.
A. Repent of the unwise use of time (Psalm 90:11-12)
Perhaps Moses thinks back to Exodus 18:13 when he was working 16 hour days. Moses had to say “No!” to some activities. Solomon as an old man reflecting back on his life wrote, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecc. 3:1). With God’s wisdom there is time for all that is God’s will: Work, family, church, and God.
B. Start each day with God (Psalm 90:13-14a)
When Adam sinned in the Fall, God, as it were, turned His back on man. Moses cries out in verse 13, “Return, O Lord.” What can get God’s attention? Seeking Him first in ours lives.
Listen to David’s prayer: “O God, you are my God; early will I seek you. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Psalm 63:1).
This was Jesus’ habit as well: “And in the morning rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed unto a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Look at your calendar for this week. Is God part of our scheduled. If necessary, write in time with or for God for this week.
C. Finish your life for God (Psalm 90:14b-17)
Moses, at or near 120, wanted the balance of his life to count for God. Spending time with God each day will help you to “rejoice and be glad all our days.” Moses concedes, sure we are living under the curse of the Fall and perhaps our own sins, but “make us glad according to the days wherein you have afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.” Show us your will for the rest of our lives so we can impact our children: “Let your work appear unto you servants, and your glory unto their children.” In the remainder of our lives “Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, the work of our hands establish you it.”
As a result of living longer, people are working longer. Leadership is becoming older as the babyboomer age. In 1984, Ronald Reagan was seeking reelection for a second term as United States president. Reagan was seventy-three years old, and his opponents had been deriding him for what they labeled the ‘senility factor.’ If elected, Reagan would be the oldest president in U.S. history. During a televised debate with his opponent, former Vice President Walter Mondale, a reporter asked Reagan whether his age would be a handicap in the campaign. Reagan responded: ‘I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.’ Reagan’s quick rejoinder even forced a chuckle out of his opponent on national television and helped diffuse a potential landmine on his path back to the White House” (Henry and Richard Blackaby. Spiritual Leadership. Broadman & Holman, 2001, 169).
Dave Ramsey says that being 60 years old today is what 40 used to be. Thankfully we are living longer and able to serve the Lord longer, if we invest our time wisely for God’s glory.