I HAVE LEFT
Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
It’s amazing how God has made us. He created us with the power to think and do, and gives us such a variety of things to do. He has also built into us many things that happen automatically without us having to think about it.
Without giving thought our mind tells our heart to beat and to increase the frequency when more blood is needed throughout the body. The mind tells the lungs to breathe without us giving it a thought. The mind tells us to swallow on a regular basis. It tells us we need to eat (some of our brains are overactive in that department). The mind automatically tells us to blink without having to think about it.
Without a thought it seems, we are able to stand and walk in a balanced kind of way. We can hear without turning on a switch or increasing a volume control. Given the proper conditions it seems that the body can go a long way in healing itself. We truly are wonderfully made.
How many of you have made plans already for this coming year? Much of our year is in a sense planned out already for us. Most of us have doctor and dentist appointments already set for sometime in this year. Some of us might even have our vacation plans made for the coming year. Most of us are hoping that our children will make plans to visit us during the year or at least give us a call—if but just an email.
- Psalms 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
- The thing we don’t know and probably are not making allowances for is just how many days we have left.
- The days of our years are 25,550
- If by reason of strength they be 29,200 days
If you have already lived 50 years, then you have expended 18,250 of those days; which means if you live to be 70 you have 7,250 days left. If you live to be 80 you have 10,950 days left even though Solomon warns that those days in their strength is labor and sorrow. Sometimes it is:
- That might seem like a lot, but let’s let God teach us something.
- a labor to breathe or a labor to walk from place to place:
- a labor to sleep; a labor to think;
- a labor to take care of yourself and to be independent;
Some of those natural things that happen without thinking like: breathing, heartbeat, swallowing, eating all become labor. Don’t forget the sorrow associated with extended life: the sorrow of losing a spouse and losing relatives and friends; the sorrow of being alone; and the sorrow of being set off in a corner of a nursing home to live in our thoughts of a time long gone by.
- and in some cases even a labor to think.
We could do the math and determine on the basis of 70 years how many days we might have left if we are 65. That only leaves 1825 days left. 80 years would extend that by another 3650 days but Solomon says those days strength is labor and sorrow.
- Job 14: 1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. 2He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
TIME IS SHORT
LORD, teach us to number our days. He said it and it does seem to be a wise thing to do. It is not morbid—though it might seem to be. Perhaps we also should let God remember something for us:
Take a good look around. How many people do you know who were alive when Noah built the ark? Have you ever met anyone who came over on the Pinta, the Nina or the Santa Maria? How many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence do you know personally? Now, ask yourself this question: What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? David answers that question in the book of Chronicles:
- Psalms 89: 47 Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? 48What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.
You got it didn’t you? There is none abiding. Why are there none abiding? Who is he/she that is alive who will not die? The writer to the Hebrews said, “it is appointed unto men once to die”. Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) Death passed upon all men in that all have sinned. Romans 5:12 There is an inevitability to our plight which should have a dramatic effect on the few years that we live.
- I Chron. 29:15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
This truth did not escape Peter’s attention. He made it plain that there is no comparison to flesh and the word of the Lord. The word of the Lord is something that abides. We can therefore put our confidence in those words of promise which we have from the Lord.
- Psalms 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. 17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; 18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
- I Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Putting life and length of days into proper perspective motivates us to walk those steps in life circumspectly rather that foolishly. Time is fleeting and needs to be treasured and handled wisely. Confronted on his sickbed with his approaching mortality, Hezekiah the king turned his head to the wall; prayed and wept bitterly. Isaiah 38:2-3 The implications and proper realization of our own personal mortality should provide us with the impetus to be better people. We cannot count on making things right on our deathbed as did Hezekiah. As it turned out, Hezekiah was given an additional 15 years to “get his house in order”. Isaiah 38:1,5
This should even affect how we deal with others and how we talk:
- Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
The thing I need to remember is that God has a plan for me. I need to remember that He gave his Son that I might live.
- Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
GOD DOES HAVE A PLAN
Life is short. Moses said in Psalms 90:10 that the days of our years are 25,550; and if you remain strong they could be 29,200. That might seem like a lot of time but to put it in perspective, multiply the number of years old you are by 365 and subtract that from 25,550. How many does that leave?
- Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
God has a plan and wants me to share in that plan for the future. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He has all eternity to work out his plan. We do not have but a few years. It stands to reason that I need to let his plan become my plan. I need to join God in his program for the future.
Transitory is not a word I relish but it is a word I need to own. God is not transitory but I am. The generations of my people in the past might have relied upon God. But even at that I know they are not living, not abiding. That too is my lot.
I really like the way Moses put it, “God is God from everlasting to everlasting.” Psalms 90 It’s hard for me to have a reference point here rather than words alone. There are trees on the earth which could have been around when Jesus was born. That is perhaps the nearest I can get to grasping the idea of “everlasting”; 2,000 years. It really gets complicated when I attempt to compare that to, “everlasting to everlasting”. It’s like a circle; no end; round and round. I want to get into that circle of eternity.
God made us. He understands us. We are indebted to him as our “potter, we are the clay”. Isaiah 64:8 He is also our sustainer. “In him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28 (KJV) No doubt Luke was thinking of this scripture, Psalms 90:1, when he penned this verse in Acts. David brings this and more to light in the following scripture. If I ever doubted God’s hand in my life, this will forever remove that doubt.
- Psalms 90:1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
God has not forgotten that we are dust. Actually, he created us, he knows what we are made of. He will not forget.
- Psalms 139: 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee….23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalms 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.