By Mike Gilland
Psalm 90 contains a great perspective on time that we need to hear. Moses was the author of this great psalm, and he truly had a handle on the fact that while God is eternal and unchanging, our life on earth is temporal and relatively brief. While this may not be the most pleasant thought, it is truth nonetheless; we started off as dust, and to dust we will return.
What Moses emphasizes is man’s brevity, and sadly, man’s insolence in spite of that brief span of time. Scripture tells us that the fear (respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Yet, throughout time, man has tended to not fear (respect) the Lord as he should, or even to manage his time correctly.
Moses saw this firsthand when he told the nation of Israel to wait for him as he ascended Mt. Sinai to meet with God. But those restless hearts below felt that they had waited long enough, and they decided that it was time for them to take matters into their own hands. Time to do what they knew they could do, to build their own idol to worship. They had time for their plans, but no time for God’s plan.
Consider the abundance of references to time in chapter 90.
- all generations
- everlasting to everlasting
- a thousand years
- yesterday, when it is past
- a watch in the night (three hours)
- in the morning… and in the evening…
- all our days…
- we bring our years
- the years of our life are seventy…
- yet their span
- teach us to number our days
- how long?
- satisfy in the morning…
- all our days
- for as many days
- for as many years…
In spite of the many warnings given to us from God, we today still find ourselves to be very similar to men of old.
We somehow think we have all the time in the world, and all the while we tend to fritter that time away. Foolishly, without thought. Forgetting that this temporal life is a drop in the bucket of eternity.
I was asked once to visit a dying man, someone that was a neighbor to a fellow church member. This man, as my friend told me, was a great guy – but he had just never been a part of a church, or had given any evidence of a relationship with Jesus. Now, he was dying.
As I introduced myself and got to know him over an hour’s time, I was amazed at the ease with which we were able to converse. Looking at him, I would never have known that he was gravely ill. We laughed and we talked. I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him. And he wanted to pray. He asked Jesus to forgive him. Toward the end of our visit I asked him, “Why do you think it was that you never attended a church, or sought out anything about God?” His answer: “Mike, I guess I just thought I would live forever.”
I thanked him for taking the time to talk. He thanked me for visiting with him, and praying for him.
I got a call the next day from my friend telling me that the man in the hospital had just passed away. I hung up the phone quite shaken, with a new realization that our days here are brief – we won’t live forever.
Verse 14 of chapter 90 is powerful: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.