Ennle (“casual)”, Christian blogger, poet & Bible student♥
V.J.’s weekly “assignments” are typically of a serious nature, and I tend to take them perhaps too seriously…stressing, as though I’m still in school and final grade depends on how well thought out and written my finished effort will be received by her. Silly…but that’s the make-up of my constitution. So when my initial comments to her expressed mild anxiety, she responded that she was sure I had a “favorite passage”, and that they were “numbered”. I confess I had rather forgotten that, as a Bible student, I had much material to draw from…
Out of curiosity, I went to her link for “Token Rock”…no surprise to read I fit the “life path” description of Number 7. The Bible is full of symbolism regarding numbers; for instance, 5 is considered the number for “grace”…and 7, symbolic of “perfection” or “completeness”. I’ve deduced that my “7” is about the curse-ed “perfectionist bent”, nothing remotely close to being “perfect” in any saintly way.
So last night I was “cramming” to get the assignment completed, and went directly to the Old Testament’s book of Numbers. Some people find it dry, but to me it’s fascinating, in particular the relationships between Moses, his brother Aaron, sister Miriam, and God. But goodness, if I were to write about that it would take days, resulting in a long post none would read. Which is where I’m already heading, I know…because I write the way I think, talk…
I’m grateful to have God as my writing partner…He sped up the process, reminding me of the verse in Psalms about “numbering our days”. Since becoming a student of the Bible, I’m intrigued by, and have collected a fair number of Bible versions/translations for my library. So let’s dive in for a short study, shall we?
Psalm 90:12, in the King James Bible reads: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Notice that the purpose of numbering our days is to “apply our heart” or study to gain “wisdom”. In the New American Standard Bible, the psalm’s wording is, “That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” The focus is not merely to gain wisdom, but to be able to show an appreciation of what we’ve learned, to God.
And in the New Living Translation, same psalm, there is yet something more: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Life is relatively brief; thus, we are urged to respect the time and pay attention to becoming wiser. I dare say God assigned me longer years than I might have liked because I was clearly a “slow student”…nearly 70, I’m only recently gaining a smattering of wisdom.
Before leaving this psalm and verse, I’ll include Young’s Literal Translation: “To number our days aright let us know, And we bring the heart to wisdom.” “Bring the heart to wisdom” is lovely language, I think…it’s not just about our thought-deluged brains, we collect wisdom in our hearts.
Job also spoke about our length of days. “Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.” Job 14:5, NASB
And the New Living Translation puts a fine point on the same verse: “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” (underlining mine)
Psalm 139:16 (NASB) speaks about our Creator/Father God having seen and known us before our birth: “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” It’s worded slightly differently in the New Living Translation: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
And one last “numbering”, also from the book of Psalms (56:8)*, which reflects God’s loving attention to each one of us…so much so, that He’s kept track of our “wanderings”* (which is of particular comfort to me); He’s counted and kept/saved our tears*…and He’s even counted our “tossings”* (for those with sleep issues, I’ve interpreted 🙂 ). ALL of these, God has written in His personal book on every single person He created. As the Bible says frequently, “Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!” (The Amplified Bible)
*“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” English Standard Version
*“You have taken account of my wanderings; You have put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” Berean Study Bible
Thank you, V.J. for a wonderful assignment this week…it did me good, I preached myself happy!! 🙂
©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.