Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Heart of Wisdom: Runs to God for Mercy

"So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom."
-Psalm 90:12

Today I post my 4th and final quality of a "heart of wisdom:"

A heart of wisdom runs to God for mercy.

In the past several posts, we’ve been discussing how short and insignificant our lives are, especially in light of God’s eternity. We have acknowledged God as our Holy Judge, sovereign over our lives, and filled with righteous anger toward our sin. Seeing death as God’s judgment on human sin is meant to humble us—but it needn't end in despair. A heart of wisdom sees that life is fleeting, that sin has earned God’s judgment and that only God himself can save us.

That’s what verses 13-17 of Psalm 90 model for us. Moses has been describing man’s frailty and God’s wrath, and then in verse 13 he turns to God and begins to plead for mercy. He says, "Have pity on your servants!” He doesn’t turn to entertainment or sexual pleasure or money or power or fame. He turns to God and cries, “Only you can give my life meaning.” He says, “You satisfy us, God, you make us glad, you reveal yourself to us. Unless you bless us, we have nothing and our lives have no meaning.”

God doesn’t want us to "number our days" so that we’ll be morbid and despairing. He wants us to number our days so that we’ll escape the illusion of human independence and pride. He wants us humble so that we can throw ourselves on him for mercy. He wants us to number our days so that we’ll forsake the fleeting and the meaningless, and live for his praise.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, the key truth we need to take from this passage is this:

We can only live our days wisely when we see God clearly.

And when we see God clearly, we see how little time we have, and we see that pleasing and honoring him with our lives is what truly matters. We see that only in Him do we find satisfaction and joy, and only in the eternal God do we find eternal life.


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