We are continuing our series of reflections on the Psalms. Each day we will upload a new reflection to the website. We hope and pray that you will find them helpful and that they bring hope during this season. Click on these buttons to read the text of the psalm or listen to a recording of it. You can also listen to the reflection using the audio player below.
This psalm reminds us all of the brevity of human life compared to God’s eternity. The opening three verses are a great statement of his eternal nature, “from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Human beings, by contrast, are creatures of dust (Genesis 3:19). We are not only mortal but extremely short-lived. Amongst all the ups and downs of life, our only hope is in him who was God before the formation of the world.
Verses 7-11 describe God’s wrath and displeasure at mankind’s sinfulness and goes on to acknowledge that all our sins, even the ‘secret’ ones in our brief life span, will come under God’s judgement unless we find mercy. The writer doesn’t seem to be complaining, but just accepting the realism of his situation.
The last six verses are written as a prayer. “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Life is so short that it is folly to ignore God. If we find our peace in the love of God ‘early’ we shall be “glad all our days” which will make up for all the troubles we have had in life. Finally, the writer talks about our life’s work, which is only of any real value if it is done in co-operation and with the blessing of God. Our human ‘achievements’ amount to nothing if we leave him out and will not last unless they are established by him.
In conclusion, the shortness of life should compel us to seek a heart of wisdom, to make God our refuge, to find rest in his love and be fruitful under his blessing.
Father, please give all your children a heart of true wisdom. May all our labour be subject to your will so that it bears much lasting fruit. May we never forget that you are our refuge and strength for ever.