Meditations on Psalm 90:12

Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 28th October 2020.

Recently, I went into my backyard to find my son carrying a bottle of water. As I asked him about this, he explained he wanted to water his pot plant. Unfortunately, I needed to stop him because the pot plant was already dead. Let’s just say, this didn’t go down too well.

I tried to explain, unsuccessfully, the plant died because he didn’t water it regularly. It wasn’t for lack of opportunity, my wife and I attempted to encourage him to water the plant, but he just kept putting it off. So, naturally, the plant died.

Maybe you find your faith and spiritual life a little dry at the moment. Do you wonder why? It may be circumstances in your life weighing you down, like a blazing sun beating down on a small plant. Yet, provided with the right provisions, even the small plant can survive.

As we meditate upon God’s Word, we’re reminded to make the most of each day as we seek to walk with him:

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

This psalm is a prayer of Moses. He begins this prayer by establishing the everlasting character of God, existing before time and creation. He then acknowledges we are a sinful people standing before a holy and righteous God. Moses recognises God would be right to wipe away sinners before a holy God.

His prayerful response to the awesome character of God is this, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” This is a prayer for wisdom so that we will value each day given to us by this awesome God.

Where do we start? We recognise the God who created and gives us life is a holy and righteous God. We need to recognise our sin before him and seek his forgiveness. If your circumstances are weighing you down, then Moses’ prayer continues, “Relent, LORD! … Have compassion on your servants.” The prayer for mercy is never left unanswered, if we would only ask.

What is God’s answer to these prayers for forgiveness and mercy? The answer is Jesus. And no, this isn’t just a Sunday school answer. Jesus takes our sin, he takes the anger and wrath of God, and he takes it to the Cross.

Like a plant in need of water, even in dry times, we need Jesus, the manifestation of the mercy of God, to nourish our souls. Whatever tomorrow holds, whatever next week holds; today, take hold of Jesus. This is wisdom: to take hold of Jesus today, to number your days. Don’t wait to dry out like an unwatered plant, come to Jesus. It might be a struggle, but come to him today.

Let this psalm be your prayer.


Lord God, you are our dwelling place. Before you created the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. With a word, you turn people back to dust. To you, a thousand years is just a moment in our day. How awesome are you, God?

You are holy and righteous. We cannot stand before you, our sin laid before you, our darkest secrets revealed before your light. Your anger and wrath against our sin would consume us, yet…yet, you show us mercy. You sent us your Son, Jesus Christ, to take our sin upon the Cross, taking your anger and wrath upon himself. What mercy! What grace! What love! Thank you.

Holy Spirit, give us strength in our weakness, give us confidence in our shame, give us faith in our fear, so that we might come to Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, and find mercy at his feet.

This we pray, in Jesus’ name, amen.