Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
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! – Psalm 90:1-17
Time management is the touted tool for efficiency. The expected outcome is a greater production with no more effort. The motive for time management efforts is most often money. Get more profit out of your time. But money doesn’t satisfy.
Let’s consider a different kind of profit: wisdom, joy, and gladness.
Psalm 90 begins with two great statements: 1. You, Lord, have been the dwelling place of the people of faith through all generations (from Adam on), and 2. God is eternal (90:2).
Then, we are turned to dust.
Moses gives us three reasons.
- Verses 4-6 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past…
- Verses 7-8 For we are brought to an end by your anger…
- Verses 9-10 For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
Then the big question.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
I had to think on this a bit. I believe Moses is saying that our fear of God should be equal to the power of his anger and his wrath, two equal weights on the balancing scale. I don’t know about you, but I know I don’t have a fear of God that is equal to the power of his anger and his wrath. I am lacking. I know we don’t like to dwell on something so awesome as God’s anger and wrath against our sin. We should. One reason to do so is that it will enrich our appreciation of his grace. It will increase our love for him as we understand his sacrifice for us as Jesus went under the anger and wrath of the Father on our account.
Now Moses gets to the point of the Psalm. “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Time management is introduced by Moses. The objective? Wisdom.
He returns us to dust (v.3), and we beseech him (v.13) to return to us. This brings us to the penultimate point, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
We only have so many years, seventy or eighty or so; then we fly away. In light of God’s eternality, even a hundred years is a fleeting time.
The Rolling Stones can’t get no satisfaction, but the people of God who fear him are satisfied with his steadfast love every morning so they can rejoice and be glad for all of their fleeting hundred years or so (probably less).
To summarize, God has always been and always will be the dwelling place of the people of faith. God is eternal, and we are short-lived, returning to dust because time is almost meaningless to God, our years are swept away as in a flood; because we are brought to an end due to our iniquities; because we are weak, the passing of our life is like a big sigh, we toil and have trouble, our years are soon gone and we fly away. However, the fear of the Lord, due to the power of his anger and wrath, produces wisdom and, as the people of faith of all time, we find God to be our dwelling place. Then we are satisfied every morning with his steadfast love, and we rejoice and have gladness all of our brief days.
Let’s manage our short time well to find wisdom which is satisfaction in his steadfast love; then we can rejoice and be glad all of our few days.