In the eyes of the world we seem foolish, because we deny ourselves so many pleasures that they seek and enjoy. They shake their heads when on the Sabbath we go to God's house to sing His praises and to meet Him in His word preached. To them life is way too short for man to cut himself off from worldly pleasures; and a good time here below should be gotten while we still can. Get out of life what you can!
However, we are not fools but wise; and they are fools. For it is God Who through Moses teaches us in Psalm 90:12 to pray, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
This is a very important prayer. We are desperately in need of being taught to number our days. No, we cannot count ahead to see how many we will still get. Nor do we need to count back to see how many we have had. But we should be taught to appreciate what a short time we have here below, and to be taught to live in the consciousness of the fact that this life's end means the beginning of another life. And that this one will be an everlasting life in heaven or in hell!
Our present afflictions and impending death must show us the seriousness of the end of our life. We must know and believe that our present woes point to what we deserve, and that if it were not for God's mercy in Christ, we now have a foretaste of what is coming after death. We must then also count how valuable that cross of Christ is, and how much we need it, if we are going to have the joy of life with God in heavenly glory.
Sing then this prayer as we have it versified in these words:
O teach Thou us to count our days
And set our hearts on wisdom's ways;
Turn, Lord, to us in our distress,
In pity now Thy servant bless;
Let mercy's dawn dispel our night,
And all our day with joy be bright.
In sanctified wisdom make that your daily prayer.
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 245
Why not sing along??
Calvin on Psalm 139:17: "The Prophet has properly placed this righteousness after goodness, as being the effect of goodness. He also asserts that it extends to the children and children’s children, according to these words in Deut. 7:9, ‘God keepeth mercy to a thousand generations.’ It is a singular proof of His love that He not only receives each of us individually into His favour, but also herein associates with us our offspring, as it were by hereditary right, that they may be partakers of the same adoption. How shall He cast us off, who, in receiving our children and children’s children into His protection, shows to us in their persons how precious our salvation is in his sight?"
Calvin: "He who is envious of another will have the greatest difficulty in keeping out of some kind of trouble or quarrel with him" (Sermons on II Samuel, p. 125).