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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Teach Us to Number Our Days

Moses lived 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in the wilderness as a shepherd, and 40 years in the wilderness leading people. Prior to his death, he assessed life, “The length of our days is seventy yearsor eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). This from a man who watched an entire generation die during his last 40 years. 

Moses saw trouble. He watched his own people live in slavery while he received the best education available and was waited on by servants. His intervention was unappreciated, and he was forced to flee that life of ease and embrace a whole new existence--a different kind of trouble. Sheep. Loneliness. Loss of family and friends. A new and unglamorous career. Until the day that God interrupted his life while on the backside of the desert. A new kind of trouble faced him. A stubborn Pharaoh. The Red Sea. A complaining and rebellious people. A waterless wilderness. 
Yet in the midst of all of his trouble Moses experienced God. God’s unfailing love sustained him; therefore, Moses sang for joy and was glad all of the days of his life, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14). 
A good life isn’t one absent of trouble, but one of experiencing God as much as one can this side of heaven. Moses could look back over each of the 40 year increments of his life and see the activity of God. 

Locating God in the midst of trouble is difficult; sometimes His presence cannot be sensed at all. That's when faith kicks in! Faith in the goodness of God, the providence of God, and the truth that "all things work together for good" for those who love Him. Each day, week, month, year, and decade must be viewed through the faith filter, when eyes cannot see Him, when hearts cannot understand His way. Even then, we may not see His fingerprints. Heaven, however, will reveal His presence in the midst of our trouble. It will all make sense then.
The person who experiences a life of genuine fulfillment is one who looks for God in the face of trouble that comes his way and trusts Him when He cannot be detected. That is wisdom! 
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Older Post
"And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel. When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you--they are your life" (Deuteronomy 31:30; 32:45-47).
Music has always been a powerful and memorable vehicle to deliver a message. Rock, Country, Rap, Southern Gospel, and Contemporary Worship songs all express an aspect of culture. For instance, most country music is about broken hearts and failed relationships, while rap originated from a background of hardship, drugs and gang-related violence. Southern Gospel expresses either personal or communal belief and hopes regarding the Christian life and is usually sung by harmonizing quartets. Rock music has its roots in rhythm and blues, country music and other influences and became protest music in the 1960's.

Catchy, trendy "7/11" songs (seven words repeated 11 times or as some have described, "vain repetition") sometimes gives contemporary Christian music a bad name. Well written Christian music, however, include sound theological content, exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, and edify the believer.

Deuteronomy 32 is the second song recorded in the Bible (the first was written by Miriam & Moses in Exodus 15). Moses writes this song to remind Israel of all that God is for Israel and what He has done for His people and to warn Israel against apostasy. "In singing this song the Israelites would be acknowledging two things: (a) their obligation to obey the Lord, and (b) the righteous and certain character of their judgment if they fell into apostasy." (Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 1:318)

Songs, like stories, are memorable. And Moses intends that Israel remember certain things about God and His activity, therefore, he composes this song for them to pass on from one generation to the next. The Psalmist speaks of a "new" song flowing out of the heart ot the redeemed--a song with such evangelist qualities that it draws people to Christ (Psalm 40:1-3). Every song says something about the one who sings it. What songs flow from your heart and what do those songs say about you and your God?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Psalm 90:1-17; Deuteronomy 31:30-32:52
  • What does Psalm 90 teach about God? About man?
  • Make a list of the attributes of God found in Deuteronomy 32.
  • What historical events does Moses mention in this song?
  • How is Israel described in this song?
  • List the promises and warnings contained in this song.
Turning truth into prayer
The evidence of a Spirit-filled life is a singing heart (Ephesians 5:18-19). Ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit. Then you'll have to sin to keep from singing!