Summary: God gives every human being exactly 86,400 seconds every day. This message focuses on the importance of "Godly" as opposed to "human arithmetic" in numbering our days.
MAKING YOUR LIFE COUNT: THE WISDOM OF GODLY ARITHMETIC
Psalm 90: 12
1. I received the most incredible news this past week – and I expect that each of you either has or will be receiving yours as well – that an account had been opened in my name at Life Bank with a daily deposit of $86,400. Isn’t that awesome!
• The letter did state that the terms of the deposit are that I cannot carry over any balance from day to day. What I fail to use each day will be deleted from my account and cannot be retrieved. I can also not borrow from the next day’s deposit.
• The letter also stated that one of the conditions of receiving this daily deposit was that at any time, and without prior announcement, the bank would do an audit on my account to assess how I was using the funds applied to my account and depending on the outcome of that audit I would either be rewarded or penalized.
• I can tell you that news has certainly helped me do a total re-assessment of my financial status and start learning to put every penny to good use. I don’t want to waste even one red cent!
2. How many of you have already received the same letter? I am sure many or most of you wish there was such a bank. Well there truly is! But the deposit made daily into each of our accounts is not in dollars and cents but in hours, minutes, and seconds.
• While there is certainly no equality among us regarding our financial status, in terms of TIME God has given every human being exactly 86,400 seconds every day of their life – no more and no less – and we cannot borrow against tomorrow, nor can we go back and retrieve wasted moments from yesterday. What we do not use carefully and wisely today is lost for ever.
• And since there is an unannounced day coming for each one of us when our lives will be audited, and the outcome be favorable or unfavorable to us, it makes absolute sense to consider how we might wisely use every second of every day.
3. The text for my message today comes from verse 12 of Psalm 90 which is headed in Scripture as “A Prayer of Moses, the man of God”.
• The setting for Moses’ writing of this prayer is clearly during the latter part of Israel’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of their disobedience to the Lord and their failure to believe His promise. Instead of heading straight into the lush land flowing with milk and honey, they settled instead for the hot, dry and barren desert.
• And so an entire generation of those who came out of slavery in Egypt died in the wilderness and Moses is one of them.
• This prayer was written near the end of Moses’ life and since he died at age 120 or around 43,800 days – though longer than most – it highlights the great contrast between the eternity of God and the extreme transitoriness of human life – he says, we are “like a dream”, “like grass that may be fresh in the morning but has withered by the afternoon”, “like a watch in the night” – a mere 3 hours, “like a sigh”.
• As Moses daily watches one funeral after another, and recognizes the increasing brevity of his own life, he asks God to teach them “so to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”.
• What he is asking for is not just an ability to count the number of our years, months, and days – nor even the number of days and hours we have clocked doing this activity or working on that project - that would just be regular human mathematics.
• Instead he is asking to be given the wisdom, the insight to use however many days, hours, and seconds we are given in such a way and only in those things that bring honor and glory to God. That is the wisdom of Godly Arithmetic!
4. Perhaps the best way for us to grasp and understand what is meant by doing this “Godly Arithmetic” that will produce a heart of wisdom – or learning to make our lives count from God’s perspective rather than our own or the world’s – is to look at a few examples from Scripture and hopefully make application for ourselves.
1. Let’s start with Moses himself – one mightily used by God to confront Pharaoh and deliver His people from 400 years of slavery in Egypt.
• The one who, on the banks of the Red Sea while being pursued by the Egyptians, told the people to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” and God honored his faith by allowing the people to cross through the sea on dry ground and then swallowed the entire army in the returning waters.