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Teach Us to Number Our Days

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Tim McCoy, Lead Pastor

Teach us to Number our Days

As 2023 comes to an end and we stand on the threshold of 2024, my heart has been drawn again to Psalm 90.
It’s the only psalm in the entire psalter that is attributed to Moses. The superscription reads, “A Prayer of Moses, the man of God” (ESV).

The predicates for the prayer. Moses’ prayer acknowledges, affirms, and is based on three realities:

  1. God is eternal and unchanging: “from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (v. 2b, ESV).
  2. Human life is brief and fleeting. Our lives are like a “dream” or like “grass” that flourishes in the morning but withers in the evening (vv. 5-6, ESV). Even the seventy or eighty years that may be typical are shorter than we might think: “they are soon gone and we fly away” (v. 10c, ESV).
  3. We are sinful and accountable to God. Nothing is ultimately hidden: “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence” (v. 8, ESV). Because our world is fallen and our sinfulness is a reality, our days are often filled with “toil and trouble” (v. 10b, ESV). Apart from his grace, we will know only his anger and wrath (vv. 7-11).

The requests in the prayer. Against this backdrop, Moses makes five requests that serve as a pattern for our praying:

  1. We should ask for perspective and wisdom. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (v. 12, ESV).
  2. We should ask for mercy and forgiveness. “Have pity on your servants!” (v. 13b, ESV).
  3. We should ask God to satisfy us with his love and restore our joy: “that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (v. 14b, ESV).
  4. We should ask God to reveal himself to us and our children. “Let you work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children” (v. 16, ESV)
  5. We should ask God to show us favor and success. “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (v. 17, ESV).

With great gratitude for every blessing God has already bestowed on us, I’m praying, church family, that our coming year will be filled with the Father’s favor.  I am confident that the best is yet to come!

Your Pastor and Friend,
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