In the light of eternity our life upon this earth is brief. Therefore we need to live wisely, redeeming the time and doing the will of God. According to Psalm 90:12, we have to ask the Lord to teach us to number our days so that we can live wisely during this short life upon this earth. When we make sure of this, we can live joyfully (Psa. 90:14, 15), live a life of real satisfaction in doing God's will (v. 14), a life which reveals God's glory (v.16), and be formed into God's beauty (v.17). Now we want to see how God counts our days, so that we may make sure our days are not wasted in our spiritual journey on this earth.
Psalm 90 contains the prayer of Moses the man of God, Who led the people of God, the Israelites, after He redeemed them from Egypt. In the wilderness he saw the wrath of God on the people when they rebelled against Him and also saw His loving kindness when they repented and turned to Him. Therefore, in this prayer he says, "...teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (v. 12).
God does not count our days according to the calendar. In His numbering, only some days are counted and others rejected. The years spent without God i.e. without salvation are not counted by Him. We can see this from Genesis chapters 4 and 5. The genealogy of Cain, who sinned against God is very brief, but the genealogy of Seth, the descendant of Adam, is given in full detail because his descendants were righteous before God; they communed with Him and pleased Him (4:25,26). This shows that God counts our days only after we repent of our sins and become righteous before Him.
When the children of Israel came out of Egypt God said, "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Exo. 12:2). Because they were redeemed from Egypt through the slain lamb and the blood that was sprinkled, it was counted as a new beginning in their lives before the Lord. In the light of this, we can count our spiritual age before God. We may be twenty, thirty or forty years old physically but our spiritual age can be very less, because it is counted before God only after we are born again. So we need to make sure that we have put our faith in the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shed His precious blood for the remission of our sins.
Even after being born again, some days are not numbered before God - He looks upon them as wasted days and therefore they are not credited. For example, in the case of Israelites, the period from the time of their exodus to the building of Solomon's temple in the fourth year of his reign, was 573 years according to Acts 13: 18-22, i.e. 40 years in the wilderness, plus 450 years upto Samuel, plus 40 years of Saul's reign, plus 40 years of David's reign, plus 3 years of Solomon's reign before he started building the temple. However according to 1 Kings 6:1, the same period is counted as 480 years. We see the difference of 93"years. Why this discrepancy? Both the records of Acts 13 and 1 Kings 6 are correct. Then how do we account for these missing 93 years? The answer is found in the book of Judges. For 93 years the children of Israel were oppressed by the heathen nations and they came under their servitude because they had disobeyed God. The details are as follows.
1.They served Chushan - rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia for 8 years (Judges 3:8).
2. They served Eglon, the king of Moab for 18 years (Judges 3:14)
3. They served Jabin, king of Canaan for 20 years (4:1-3).
4. They served under the hand of Midian for 7 years (6: 1).
5. They served under the hand of Philistines for 40 years (13.1)
This brings the total to exactly 93 years.
In Acts 13 Paul was narrating the mere history of the Israelites, but in 1 Kings 6:1 the emphasis is on their condition before God, therefore the 93 years are excluded. This shows the principle on which God numbers the years of His children. They were redeemed people who belonged to God, but they sinned against Him and came under bondage of the enemies, and could not serve God. Those years during which they did not serve the Lord were considered lost. This is a solemn warning to us. We can also be enslaved by similar enemies when we disobey and rebel against the Lord. We must stand in the liberty with which the Lord has made us free, serving Him alone and not give room to the enemy, the flesh and the world. In Acts 13 Paul was narrating the mere history of the Israelites, but in 1 Kings 6:1 the emphasis is on their condition before God, therefore the 93 years are excluded. This shows the principle on which God numbers the years of His children. They were redeemed people who belonged to God, but they sinned against Him and came under bondage of the enemies, and could not serve God. Those years during which they did not serve the Lord were considered lost. This is a solemn warning to us. We can also be enslaved by similar enemies when we disobey and rebel against the Lord. We must stand in the liberty with which the Lord has made us free, serving Him alone and not give room to the enemy, the flesh and the world.
Let us examine and see how we can also be brought into bondage to the same kind of enemies whom
the Israelites served.
1. Mesopotamia- Abraham left Mesopotamia to obey and follow the Lord. We too have to leave the world and come out of it. This speaks of our pilgrim character as those who are separated from the world and are moving towards heaven (2 Corinthians 6: 17, 18).
2. Moab-They were the descendants of Lot; " they speak of a cursed life, because they were riot allowed to enter into God's congregation for ten generations (Deut. 23:3). They also speak of the deception of the flesh.
3. Canaan -speaks of idolatry in any form. We have to beware of allowing anything or any person in our lives taking the place of God. These come in subtle forms.
4. Midian -means contention. It speaks of competing with God's will in our lives. We have to obey the will of God at any cost. This may mean losing certain things in this present life, but being in God's will ensures eternal security for us.4. Midian -means contention. It speaks of competing with God's will in our lives. We have to obey the will of God at any cost. This may mean losing certain things in this present life, but being in God's will ensures eternal security for us.
5. Philistines -were uncircumcised; they speak of uncircumcised hearts. It means, death to the flesh has not fully worked in our lives. We cannot serve God with fleshly mind and with our old nature by refining it. The death of the cross applied to our lives only can deliver us from the activities of the flesh. We have to search our hearts and see how many days since our new birth have been actually credited by God. What discount had God to make in our days? How many wasted days were there? We must realize that if we are in bondage to any of the above enemies, i.e. if we live according to our human will, being away from God, defeated and fallen, those days will not be numbered by Him. So let us honestly ask ourselves since the time of our new birth experience, how many days are wasted and how any days have been numbered by God.
YE ARE MY FRIENDS--4 Bakht Singh
In Genesis 18 God told Abraham how He was going to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, but now in chapter 22 God wanted to tell him what was going to happen through his seed. "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (v. 17,). That seed is the Lord Jesus Christ and Abraham was thus a partaker of all the blessings which were to come through that Seed. He would enjoy the fruits of the victory of that Seed over all the enemies of God, and over all the powers of darkness. We too have the right in Him to enjoy the fruit of His victory, which will ensure not only a happy life upon the earth, but also a share in His triumphant victory over all the powers of darkness in heavenly places. That is what it means to be a friend of God.
Genesis 22:13 reveals something more of what the friendship of God had for Abraham. "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his thorns..:'. The ram was caught in the thicket, not because it would run away somewhere. God would have made that very same ram to appear right before Abraham without being bound in a thicket. But God was teaching him some important lessons. After he had passed the final test, he saw the ram caught in the bush. This ram is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. God was saying to Abraham, "You have obeyed My voice. Now I am bound to bless you and your seed. Now command Me. Continue to command Me". "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come ...concerning the work of my hands, command ye me" (Isa. 45:11 ). God is willing to bless us if we obey Him. Most of us want God to listen to us and work for us. But we do not obey Him. The Lord Jesus wants us to command from Him the blessing of God for all nations, and also victory over all enemies. God took Abraham on the mountain top, that he might learn how to command the best things from God for all the generations to come. Do you have a desire to climb that mountain of God's friendship? Do you want to be a friend of God? If so, you will find the whole secret revealed in the life of Abraham and especially in Genesis chapter 22.