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Psalm 90:12

Psalm 90:12
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Ps 90:12, ‘…teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.’

Much of our culture is designed to prevent us from numbering our days, to prevent us from looking steadily at the absolute reality of our own mortality and the unshakable certainty of our own death. But this is a lie. The hand with which you hold this device will one day be the hand of a skeleton. Sooner or later, easier or harder, expected or unexpected—we are all going to die.

For the Christian, this is not a morbid thought. Why? Because for the Christian, death received in the Father’s time and according to His sovereignty is the final following of our Lord, the final act of discipleship, the final release of all self-determining control, the final open-handed out-pouring of all that is ‘mine’, the final and deepest, ‘your will be done.’ It is a falling into the arms of the Shepherd who—having passed before us through this valley—meets us in and carries us up from the shadow.

But how does a consideration of the certainty of our death give us a heart of wisdom? There are many ways (fear of the Lord not the least), but the one I want to mention is this:

The certainty of death means, at least, that I am going to lose everything in this life…health, friends, family, possessions, hobbies, favorite places, food, academic achievements, career milestones, etc. etc. Death means ALL of that not only might, but WILL be stripped from me. But more than this, in Christ, these things—in a sense—HAVE been stripped from me.

Jesus died my death for me, which means His death IS my death; I have truly died with Him (Gal.2:20, Col.1:3, etc.). Thus, as Paul says, it is no longer me living, it is Christ living in me. Part of what this means is that I ought to hold all the things in my life that will be lost through death up to the Lord with open hands b/c I have already, in a sense, died to them (Phil.3:8). Everything is thus placed on the altar of the Lord’s will (Rom.12:1), ready to be poured out in the obedience of love.

This creates in us a heart of wisdom, b/c as we live in this way, we are conformed to the image of our slain and risen Lord, who is Himself the Wisdom of God.