Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Relent, LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Moses, the author of this psalm, contrasts the everlasting nature of God and the fleetingness of human life. He laments how short life is, comparing it to a fading flower. In light of this, Moses implores: Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
To "number our days" means being mindful of our limited time on Earth. It is an acknowledgment that our lives are finite and that each day is a precious gift from God. If we understand the fleeting nature of life, we are prompted to live purposefully, making the most of our time and focusing on what truly matters.
This understanding leads to a "heart of wisdom." When we are aware of the shortness of life, it humbles us and helps us prioritize our choices, actions, and pursuits. It reminds us to use our time wisely, invest in things that have eternal significance, and live in a manner that honors God.
Jesus often spoke about giving importance to eternal matters above all else. On one occasion, he said, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all [other] things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).
On another occasion, he asked, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" (Matthew 16:26).
Let us, therefore, prioritize our relationship with God, seeking his kingdom and righteousness above earthly pursuits. Let us also understand the eternal value of our souls over temporary worldly gain.
God bless you.