Psalm 90:9-12 “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
I purposely chose the title, “Moving In The Right Direction”, for a specific reason. When one considers their life, it’s not a matter of moving, we are moving whether we want to or not. The Psalmist said, “our days are passed away . . . we spend our years.” Try as you may, you can’t stop the erosion of time! From the time you entered this world, you are on the move passing through this world, on to the next. The thing that should preoccupy our mind is; are we moving in the right direction? Conscious of life’s brevity, the psalmist asked counsel of the Lord; “So teach us” (vs.12). The request of the psalmist falls into three natural divisions.
The very first thing that confronts us is the assessment of self; “So teach us.” Have you ever wondered why the psalmist would make such a request? Why would Solomon make a similar request; “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad” (I Kings 3:9). Solomon answers the question as to why he made the request; “for who is able.” After making an assessment of self, Solomon, like the psalmist, realized that they were deficient. They lacked the necessary enlightenment, discernment, and knowledge to proceed in the right direction! If one is going to move in the right direction, it begins with a proper understanding of oneself.
Secondly we notice the activity of the student; “to number our days.” Please pause for a moment and ponder this thought, “While the psalmist anticipated “days”, he only attempted to spend them one at a time! While all of us anticipate the future, in reality, we only exist in the present! Having an understanding of that truth, the psalmist requested that God teach him how to “number” his days. The word means to weigh out, by implication to a lot or enumerate. Some have described it as a woman going to a meal barrel and taking out a portion for the day with the understanding that the day will come when there is a final allotment! While we have the anticipation of future days, God, teach us to use today as if it were our last.
Finally, we have the application of the subject; “that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” When I thought of this aspect of moving in the right direction; this portion of scripture came to my mind; “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It’s not just enough to assess and acquire; there must be application. Moses said, “that we may apply.” The word “apply” means to go or come, to abide, to bring forth or bring to pass. The psalmist isn’t under the misconception that the right thing to do will always be the easy thing to do, or the most pleasant. Bob Jones said, “Do right, though the stars fall, do right.”
It not a question of moving, every time the sun rises to present a new day; it is an indication that you are moving through time on the journey of life. The question that needs answering is, “Are you moving in the right direction?” With the assessment of self, the activity of the student, and the application of the subject one has a good chance of doing so!