Diane and I recently went on an impromptu photo outing. I had my camera ready. Batteries were charged. Lenses and tripod at the ready. So we went. She mostly walked around Mercer Botanical Gardens, taking a few photos with her iPhone. I took a bunch of photos. Then late last night I got around to going through them for the first batch of culling the less-than-excellent photos. This morning I finished that up, including some editing and a whole lot of post processing. I discovered I had neglected to reset my camera and everything was overexposed by 2 stops. That’s not good in bright sunlight. Thank God for Lightroom®! You’ll see some of those photos over the next weeks in this blog.
I should have considered a few things before I began to click the shutter. I should have looked more closely at the numbers. I would have gained some time and some better photos had I done so.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Too often we live as though God is a doting grandfather. Benignly he watches with chuckling amusement at the silly antics of his grandchildren. That’s not a biblical picture whatsoever. Who considers, indeed, the power of his anger? I don’t often. But when I do, it hauls me back from the edge of faith’s shipwreck. The Law of God properly serves to curb gross outbreaks of sin in our lives. A healthy fear of God is at its root. It’s not the highest motivation. But it is a valid one. And for what it’s worth, I consider the fear of God something quite more than healthy respect. It’s quake in your boots, fall down in despair, woe is me fear. Look at Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:1-5) for a reminder of that.
If we are in autopilot our whole lives we will certainly also discover some overexposure to the glitz and distractions of this world. That will require some redevelopment of our hearts – a renewing of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise we will forfeit wisdom and lose much.
Moses prays that God would teach us to number our days. He is aware that it’s all too easy to slog through our days unaware of God’s proper place, oblivious to his higher calling, and sidetracked from his ways. By numbering our days means we are intentionally aware of the human limits of our lives. We will not live on this side of eternity forever. Heaven is our true home. Numbering our days is, therefore, more than a humble reckoning of the limits of our life, it is also meant to point us to our true heavenly hope and home.
By considering and numbering we may gain a heart of wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom’s fulfillment is Jesus himself. Perfect love. Perfect faith. Perfect obedience. Hope realized. A wise heart has considered the proper fear of God, counted its days, and looks for the steadfast love of God to fill its cracks and crevasses. Those with wise hearts will see the work of God and look with anticipation for the blessing of God on their children.