Compiled by Christine Darg
The beginning of a New Year is a reality check causing us to consider the passing away of our days. We may spend them like a spendthrift but a New Year makes us realize how transitory is life.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12, KJV)

To number our days aright let us know, And we bring the heart to wisdom. (Young’s Literal translation)

In other words, teach us to use wisely all the time we have.
What do the commentaries teach on this verse?
Divine arithmetic at the close of one year and the beginning of another.
As the miser counts and recounts his gold, so we must count our days.
70 x 365= 25,550 days on average.  That’s very few days in light of eternity.
It’s not mathematical but moral counting — a numbering that brings glory to God.

Consider striking Bible comparisons of our life – weaver’s shuttle; passing shadow; vapour, grass that wilts. The generations are like the changing sentinel watch in the night. Days may seem to go slowly; they really hurry by. “Thou carriest them away as with a flood.” 


This life is a season of probation, assigned to us for the purpose of making our choice between everlasting happiness or misery.

We have a soul to save, a crown to win; and there should be jewels in the crown. Can we do it alone? Ask for God’s wisdom and help.

King Alfred, who, in the days long before the modern time-pieces were invented, used to divide the day into three parts, eight hours each, and then had three wax candles. By the time the first candle had burned to the socket, eight hours had gone; and when the second candle had burned to the socket, another eight hours had gone; and when all the three were gone out, then the day had passed. O that some of us, instead of calculating our days by any earthly time-piece, may calculate them by the numbers of opportunities and mercies which are burning down and burning out, never to be relighted.

Our days have  certain boundaries by Divine Providence. They have a limit within the scope of our powers to calculate.

Man’s life on earth is comparatively short. We are asked to number our days, and not our years or months or weeks. We must live a day at a time.


1. So as to be ready for the last one when it comes. What is the preparation needed? To be in Christ, and so escape condemnation in the judgment (Romans 8:1). To be like Christ, and so fit for the pure joys and company of heaven (1 John 3:2). To be each of these things now, as our last day may come at any time (Matthew 24:44).

2. So as to use them to the best advantage. Time given to sin is wasted and something worse. You must not only be doing, but doing good. Cultivating the garden of life. Digging out the weeds, and digging in the flowers and useful herbs (Ephesians 4:22). Cultivating the garden of your neighbour also. Helping the sinful out of sin, the suffering out of sickness, the sorrowful out of grief (1 John 3:17Romans 9:1-32 Corinthians 1:4).

3. So as to make up for lost days. Time is a river, and runs only once under the bridge of life. Still lost time may be made up for a little by working extra in the time that remains. The train behind time makes up for it by putting on extra speed. But even this is impossible without the redemption of time.

I was blessed once by a rabbi with the redemption of time.  May we throw ourselves upon the mercy of God in 2019 for the redemption of time and our days.