Our Days are Numbered

         Way back in the beginning, people lived a long, long time. Adam lived to be 930 years old and his son, Seth, lived to be 912. Methuselah lived longest, dying at the age of 969, probably in the year of the great Flood. By Genesis, chapter 6, man was beginning to walk away from God, so He voiced a new decision. “Then the LORD said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years’” Genesis 6:3 (NIV).

          After years and years of more and more sin, man’s lifespan shortened yet again; however, man’s experiences with God had taught him a thing or two. By the time of the writing of the Psalms, the spiritually-attuned psalmist was able to put his finger on some truths about life and about God’s involvement with us. In Psalm 90:10-12 we read, “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. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (NKJ).

         Although the current world life expectancy averages at 67.2 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011, the average life expectancy in the United States of America is 78.3 years, right within the range stated in Psalm 90. Notice what the Psalmist says. Our days are full of “labor and sorrow,” and they are “soon cut off and we fly away.” Why is that? It’s the same reason why God originally cut the multi-century lifespan down the first time to 120—sin. God’s anger over sin reached to our world, touches our bodies, and we suffer the consequences. We get older and our bodies don’t respond like they used to. We start to break down and wear out.

          There’s great news, though, for the believer. The Psalmist gives us a big hint about how to live out these fleeting days to their fullest. We can request that God would “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” If we form the habit of living wisely and following God’s commands, we will live a full and satisfying life. No matter how many days God allows us to see, they will be days full of wonder at His presence, and excitement in our participation in kingdom work. Every hour will be bathed in thankfulness for His glory and power. Our days may be numbered, but they are numbered by our loving God who, from age to age, does all things well.

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©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

 

~ by sanewriter on August 10, 2011.

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