So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
Today’s big question: who do you think you are?
Get real! Face the facts! Get a grip on reality!
We often hear statements like these when someone is angry with us for straying from the truth. I have used these wake-up calls with my own children to help them see that living in a false reality is ultimately hurtful to self and others. Every now and then we all need to “face the facts.” We human beings can easily live in a false reality and create a false identity for ourselves. The most harmful thing that can happen in our lives is to think too much of self and miss our great need for the Savior. This identity crisis has eternal consequences.
Reading through Scripture, we are often brought back to this truth: we can only see our true human condition in the light of our holy Creator God. This happened to Isaiah when he saw his sin in the light of God’s brilliant heavenly glory (Isaiah 6). This happened to the Apostle John throughout Revelation as he received glimpses of the same thing. The same is true with Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). This happened to Thomas when he proclaimed Jesus as his Lord and God upon the realization that He is indeed the risen and glorious Savior (John 20:28).
The understanding of man’s sinfulness in light of God’s holiness is also something Jesus said is required to receive the gift of the kingdom of heaven: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). We see our true condition in the light of God’s holiness is and that is the only way we can realize how wretched we are and know our need for mercy and salvation’s inheritance.
Psalm 90 is going to help us come to grips with our true identity. We are going to see some wonderful statements about God’s glory and compare ourselves to His power and perfection. It is my hope we can truly understand more about our human condition. Perhaps we might easily agree we are not bullet proof, but I wonder if we truly live that way. I wonder if we are asking ourselves the right questions, and I wonder if we are willing to admit the solemn truth.
We can start by simply admitting that our days are numbered and that we are mortal and limited in comparison to an all-powerful and immortal God. Yes, it is good to frequently remind ourselves that we are not God and that we are only human.
Today’s big idea: numbering our days gives us a wise perspective on our finiteness and sinfulness in light of God’s eternality and holiness.
What to pray: ask God to give you a reality check as you consider your human condition.