Yeah, What Moses Said…

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it took me a long time to notice something.

There is one Psalm in the Bible that was written by…wait for it…Moses himself.

I know, he’s just a person like you or me, but he is so central to the Bible story. In his faithfulness to God he saved his nation—and thereby played a huge role in bringing my Savior into the world.

Moses is cool.

Of course, in the spirit of “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom. 3:23) he was also a hot mess.

To save his own bacon he claims his beautiful wife was his sister (twice). He is told to speak to the rock, he strikes it. Oh yeah, there was that murdering an Egyptian thinking he was doing God’s will thing…

Moses is a fallible human, just like you and me.

But he is Moses! He parted the Red Sea! He faced down Pharaoh! He talked to God face-to-face!

So when I finally saw that little Bible header saying at Psalm 90 that says, “A Prayer of Moses, The Man of God,” I was thrilled with the possibility of what this Psalm (which had been in the Bible the whole time I had owned one, since I was 6-years-old) would reveal of the wisdom of Moses.

What is the big “pearl” Moses had taken away from his hot mess of a life, from walking through the Red Sea with God, from experiencing the glory of God so powerful that his face would literally glow such that it scared his fellow countrymen?

Moses’ Pearl Still Captivates Me…

I was not disappointed. In the couple of decades since I first figured out that Psalm 90 was of Moses and I sat down with Moses and spent time with him (which is the way I view reading something from anyone, a hopefully intimate conversation) I found this one huge and impactful pearl that guides me daily, and that I return to in my deepest moments with God.

You ready for it?

Here it is:

“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12)

Moses lived to be a lot older than you or I will—to the age of 120.

This request of Moses to the God he would sit with and talk as with a friend—really think about it.

Why would this friend of God ask to be taught to number his days?

Further, notice that he didn’t just ask for himself, but for “us.”

In my book Superhero; Being Who God Says You Are I point out that Jesus in the “Lord’s Prayer” taught us to pray “Our Father,” not my Father.

Jesus was teaching us to think as a group of called out people, a family, and “our not my” mentality. Jesus taught us to think like Moses thought about his family.

This was no “personal Messiah,” but rather, the Lord who calls us together with himself (the triune relational Lord of all) as well as with other children of his whom he loves. We are not called to an isolated and desolate place, but to a place of rich love, fellowship, and grace.

Moses understood this—I wonder if his past as someone adopted into an Egyptian family yet knowing that you did not belong made him appreciate the beauty of “us.”

Or was it the 40-years he spent shepherding for his father-in-law; long lonely days spent in desolate places with a bunch of stinky and not-too-smart animals. Every moment Moses was able to spend with his precious wife Zipporah must have seemed so much more beautiful given the isolation of his vocation.

We see even just in the “teach us” there is a powerful lesson of faith. We are created to be in community—with God and with others.

But taking that principle and interweaving it with “numbering our days” is such a vital truth.

So much of the harshness, indifference, and lack of grace shown in marriages, families, and friendships—is it not due to our assuming that we have more time?

In other words, do we not neglect to treasure the people our Lord has put in our lives because we have this lack of awareness of how fragile our lives are, and how rapidly time gets away from us?

And speaking of the fragility of life—do we interact with these precious co-heirs to the grace of life in a way that respects the tenderness of the human spirit?

My Nine-Year-Old Wife Picture

This could be misinterpreted, but I didn’t marry a nine-year old. But my wife, (who was 19 when we wed) did give me a wallet photo of her from when she was nine-years-old—and I carried it in my wallet for years.

This picture of this awkward little girl taught me much.

When we married, she was in her peak. She was gorgeous, had a great figure, and she could absolutely captivate me and make me want to….well, you know.

But that picture of the nine-year-old innocent and awkward little girl—that reminded me of something important.

In a lot of ways, we keep those childhood insecurities and fears, tenderness, and although we may be better at hiding it—we are still hurt deeply by neglect, rejection, or harshness.

While she certainly (I hope) enjoyed my being absolutely captivated by her beauty and desirability—I needed to still remember that she, too, was vulnerable and easily hurt by my lack of perspective, i.e., a failure to “number our days.”

A Heart of Wisdom

I perceive we live in a time largely devoid of wisdom—sadly even within God’s family. We are distracted, have short attention spans, and seek comfort from devices, sugar, alcohol, and entertainment rather than the shelter of the protective wings of our Great God.

Yeah, what Moses said, it is a core component of wisdom for the children of God.

Our days are finite, short, and unpredictable.

And that is good. Very good, just like every thing God designed.

Many who object to God on the basis of “why is there suffering in the world if God is good” are not good thinkers.

What would they have life be like?

Would they, if they were God, have us live to be 10,000-years-old, never have sickness, accidents, or wars?

Think what that life would be like—really think.

If you woke up today in that world at age 230, still in great health, and no possibility of death, illness, or conflict—what would your attitude really be? What should you do?

It wouldn’t matter—life would have no meaning. You could pursue your pleasure—for 10,000 years?

You could try to help others, but if everyone died at the 10K age point and there was no suffering—what help would anyone really need?

But as it is, as people who hopefully do number our days, we understand that toady and even this moment may be all I or the person I am with will have. Either one or both of us could be gone from this earth at any minute. Every moment of your life has value—because it represents a moment to love and show mercy that can never be recaptured once gone.

Our Creator is God because he is that awesome, wise, and he desires our life to be, as Yeshua spoke, utterly abundant.

If our life is boring and meaningless, it is only because we have not allowed our loving Lord to teach us exactly what Moses, the man of God, asked for us.

That we number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.

The Amazing Attraction of Wisdom

In a world gone crazy with fear—someone who ask and receives (as we will) this gift which Moses requested will be a nearly irresistible draw to Christ. People living in fear will see our confidence and love in even the most challenging of times—and either want what we have, or have a sudden desire to hurt us.

Yep, the peace that surpasses understanding (Phil. 4:7) will strongly agitate those who have suppressed the image of God within—our peace calls deeply to something within them that they should have, but cannot as long as they continue in their self-idolatry.

Ask the Lover of our Souls to teach you to continually number your days. It will transform your spiritual life.

Yeah, what Moses said…

(Image by DiZagri/Shutterstock)

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