“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
When we were born, we were given a name and assigned a number. Our last name identifies where were from or the origin of our birth while our first name identifies where we are going, or our future. A good name is worth more than silver and gold. Our names reflect our character. Expectations are placed upon us as a result of being named or branded. We are also classified by number. As a citizen, we are numbered by the Social Security Administration. You are not merely John or Jane Doe, but you have both a name and a number.
God knows us by name and has also given each one of us a number. Each name is different and each number is as well. The request of the Psalmist was, “Lord, teach us….” The instructions requested apply to both name and number. We may say, “Lord teach us to know who we really are,” so that we would not live a presumptuous life. He knows our name and what ought to have been the fullest expression of our name. Our parents may have done the best they could, but there are some things about us that only God can teach us. Then, “Lord, instruct us to number our days.” We need to be made aware that the time allotted us is limited.
None can tell the number of their days. Without the knowledge that time is limited, their hopes and dreams may rot on the scrapheap of possibility and potential because time is too short, and life is not long enough to finish what was intended because time ran out before they could accomplish all the things abandoned by death.
The Psalmist was aware of the instructions that could only come from God alone. “Teach us to number our days.” The request was, “Lord, teach us to make every day count in doing what ought to be done. Time is too precious to waste and eternity is too long to reflect with regrets over wasted time. This day is a gift from God. What we do with it matters to Him. When we treasure both name and number, we will gain a heart of wisdom.