I try to make it a regular priority to spend time in a graveyard. Don’t worry! I’m not into grave sucking (yes, that’s a thing), I’m not trying to have a seance or pray to the dead. I didn’t grow up on horror movies. I am, however, interested in the possibility that God would “teach me to number my days so I may gain a heart of wisdom.” I am interested in God “satisfy[ing] my heart in the morning with His steadfast love.” I am interested in one of the oldest songs in human history written down by a guy named Moses. Psalm 90.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is gone,
or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
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.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
I love thinking about this ancient prayer in light of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ! In the middle of the horrible mess that sin created on the earth, and the tangible reality of God’s wrath on that sin, Moses cries out, “HOW LONG LORD! HAVE PITY on your servants! Your sin-hiding-dust-returning-blades-of-grass-brought-to-an-end-by-Your-anger-servants! And God answered. He had pity! Pity in the form of a Messiah who would shoulder the eternal weight of the wrath of God. Shelter us from the forever penalty of sin that we deserve! God sent His one and only Son to die for anyone who would receive this pity. His grace. His mercy. His salvation. Our shelter is alive. His Name is Jesus, and HE is our dwelling place. In Him, we live and move and have our being.
Moses didn’t stop there. Not only does he ask God to save him, but he cries out for God to satisfy Him. We don’t just need Jesus to save us for eternity, we need Him to save us TODAY. Because a lot of us would say that we are saved. That Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and yet our ‘functional’ savior day in and day out is Instagram when we're bored. Food when we're depressed. Facebook when we're lonely. Our cell phone has become our “Savior”. The problem is that cell phones can’t save. Jesus didn’t die just to save us for eternity, but also to satisfy our restless hearts today. So we go to Him and pray:
When the sun comes up satisfy us
Before the day has passed us by
Before our hearts forget all your goodness
Satisfy us with your love
Before our hearts give up, Spirit fill us
Satisfy us with your love
So if you happen to pass a graveyard today, stop and take a walk. Maybe put on Psalm 90 while you consider the brevity of your days and ask God to teach you to number them. We don’t have many.
Father, would You help us spend the days that we do have on You. May it not be that we would waste our days on the cares of the world. So we ask today that You would satisfy our heart with Your steadfast love. In Jesus’ Name, amen.