Today I am 35 years old and that means I have taken approximately 242,725,000 breaths in my life. That’s a lot of breaths. And as I was thinking of time, age, and breathing, God in His providence brought me to Psalm 90. I have always liked this Psalm and today it became even more beautiful for me.
In this Psalm we have the grandeur of God contrasted with the frailty of man. In verse 2, it says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” And then in verse 3, we read, “You return man to dust.”
God is great, glorious, and everlasting and then there is man, who is not great, glorious or everlasting. The life of man is compared to grass that grows and flourishes in the morning but then fades and withers in the evening. Man is weak and frail and dies. Even Methuselah, the oldest man recorded in scripture reached the very old age of 969 years, but then in Psalm 90:4 we read, “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past.” Methuselah almost reached 1000 years old and that seems amazing. But in light of verse 4, that is like one day for God. In fact, Methuselah didn’t even live for one entire day. The Psalmist has made it absolutely clear, sinful man is frail and returns to the dust while our holy God lives forever in perfect glory.
And then we come to verse 12. Here the psalmist says, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” The psalmist realizing that life is short, appeals for God’s wisdom that while we live here on earth we might live holy lives. Then in verse 14, he cries out, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” And then in verse 17, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”
So to summarize, the Psalmist, knowing that God is great and glorious and that he is weak and frail, appeals to God for His wisdom, steadfast love, and favor. The psalmist throws himself at God’s mercy and grace. He has nothing and in his sinfulness He deserves nothing.
So what happens? Well Psalm 90 doesn’t tell us, but as we consider the grand narrative of the Bible we see that God does answer this request. He does gracioulsy provide wisdom, steadfast love, and favor for man. And he does it through His Son Jesus Christ. And now because of the grace of Jesus we have been given the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5; 1 Cor 2:14-16) that we would live holy and wise lives. We have been given the steadfast love of God for it is God who now dwells in us (1 Jn 4:7). And we have certainly received the favor of God through His Son Jesus. For because of Jesus, God tells us He will continue to lavish His grace upon us for all eternity (Eph 2:7).
So in the end, I am 35 years old and I am not promised one more day. But by God’s grace I will live a holy life for His glory. God satisfies me everyday with is perfect all-satisfying steadfast love. And I know His favor rests upon me, not for what I have done for Him, but because of the grace He has bestowed upon me.