A Devo From Scot - Psalm 90

Dear Church,

It’s not common to find the name Moses in the book of Psalms. While he appears by name in five of these ancient psalms, there is only one attributed to his authorship: Psalm 90. I would like to invite you to read these words of Moses today. If you are familiar with Moses’ story - the raw, gritty, multi-colored story of fear, faith, anger and sorrow - then you will be able to smell it in almost every line of this song. Recall that it was through Moses that God’s Spirit inspired the writing of Genesis and the account of the beginnings of all things. Let these ancient words - the oldest in the whole book of Psalms - speak to your heart. As always, you will not have to look hard for their relevance and impact.

Perhaps the most memorable line of Moses in Psalm 90 is verse 12: “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Reading that line should bring a fascinating conflict to our attention. One might often hear, in the guttural voice of the world, that to focus on the brevity of our life is tantamount to tones of depression, pessimism, nihilism or even atheism. For some, the brevity and uncertainty of life is evidence of its meaninglessness. Indeed one may think of the closing lines of T.S. Eliot’s enigmatic and famous post-WWI poem, The Hollow Men: “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.”

Moses disagrees. While his prayer reveals multiple themes, some of them quite challenging, his prayer in verse 12 is not one of meaninglessness, pessimism, cynicism or any thought of a “whimper.” On the contrary, in fact. He claims that a holy and faithful “numbering of our days” is a direct route to presenting to God “a heart of wisdom.” This means there is something powerfully clarifying, purifying and mature about the consideration of the brevity of life.

From your original birthday to your 80th, you have exactly 29,200 days. I’m approaching my 45th birthday, which means I’ve used 16,425 of them. Of course, only God knows when our count is done. Many will outlive 80. Many will not. This means that our timeline, in truth, is a faithful deposit in the goodness and wisdom of God. The only day we really have is this one. What will you do with it?

And all of that is just from verse 12. The ancient prayer of Moses has so much more to reveal to you. Read. Soak. Enjoy.

I love you church,

Scot

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