So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Too often, I have not followed the biblical pattern.  I understand the eternal essence and existence of God and I thank God for creating me.  Unfortunately, I try to take over my life and use it for myself rather than the glory of God.  I think I’m not the only one in the boat.  I call it the Epicurean spirit of the age.  Self-interest prevails while the spiritual nature of life becomes a utilitarian tool.  Oh, there is plenty of interest in religious talk, especially from the pious few.  Many people call themselves morally upright, but they interpret the moral code to fit their own personal agenda.
The Bible in general and this Psalm particularly says something different.  This Psalm is not merely about how many days God has given you.  It is about understanding life.  It is about understanding reality.  One of the ugly marks of sin is imperfect understanding, which is misunderstanding.  Another ugly mark of sin is laziness.  When you combine misunderstanding with laziness, the result is a notorious distortion of reality.  Now to unscramble all this and re-state it; we don’t like to work to understand life.  We tend to base our understanding of life on what we experience, rather than searching for what is really real.  A wise resolution is to seek to understand life based on the Word of God.

The Psalmist said, “Teach us to number our days.”  It does not mean that God wants us to count the days of this temporal life.  It is not a question of whether our days are numbered; it is a question of understanding life for the number of days we live.  It all starts with the Lord; “In the beginning God.”  Our dwelling place here is temporary, but God is eternal.  God is the eternal King.  We are mere humans and subjects of the eternal King.  God is unchangeable; we are always changing.  What is man compared to God?  James said, “For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

The question I ask is not from arrogance, but sincerity.  Why do Christians treat life so lightly?  I believe there are several reasons for the disrespect for life in this present age.  The abandonment of a final and ultimate authority is probably on the top of the list.  From family life, employment, and even ball games, there must be a final authority.  The final and ultimate authority for life is God and He has given us His Word.  With the abandonment of a final authority, comes the floodgate of privatized Christianity.  Everyone has his or her own private creed, beliefs, and understanding of life.  Somewhere along the way Christians forget, or were never taught, to “Hold fast the pattern of sound words…”  (2 Timothy 1:13).  It means to Have an outline of healthy words and healthy words are found in the Word of God.  Healthy words are sound words and they are the foundation for sound doctrine.  Unfortunately, the experiences of life and ungodly passions lead to words of confusion and words of strife rather than sound words.  The result is forgotten sound doctrine.  The abandonment of sound preaching and teaching is another reason Christians treat life so lightly.  Life makes no sense when sermons are contradictory and Word of God is misrepresented.  It is the ignorance and abuse of the first principles of Christianity that causes professing Christians to abandon the true understanding of life.  As one Biblical scholar said, “Paul knew how ready men are to depart or fall off from pure doctrine.  For this reason he earnestly cautions Timothy not to turn aside from that form of teaching which he had received, and to regulate his manner of teaching by the rule which had been laid down; not that we ought to be very scrupulous about words, but because to misrepresent doctrine, even in the smallest degree, is exceedingly injurious.”  Life becomes a confusing mixture of hopelessness, strife, and contention when we abandon the essential marks of Christianity and embrace the values of personal relative thinking.
What is the answer to the confusion and despair of this life?  Pray and ask God to teach us to number our days, with a sense of integrity, understanding that life on earth is brief.  For that reason, it is measured by days.  If we understand the brevity of this life, we will better understand eternal life.