by Bob Wilkin
Did you know that Moses wrote a Psalm? Most of the Psalms were written by David around 1000 BC. But Moses wrote a Psalm four centuries before that.
In Psalm 90, a psalm by Moses, he says, “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (v 10).
Of course Moses live well beyond eighty. He was 120 when he died and he was full of strength (Deut 34:7). So his statement about seventy or eighty years is merely proverbially true. There are lots of exceptions.
Moses then adds, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12).
Because I spent four years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ before going to seminary, I was 30 years old when I graduated with my master’s degree from DTS. I was 33 when I received my doctoral degree.
Back then it was fairly easy to number my days. While I knew the Rapture could occur any day, and while I knew that I might day at any moment too, I figured that if the Lord tarried there was a good chance I’d live into my seventies or eighties.
My Dad was 73 when he died. But my Mom lived to be 96.
Now I’m 64. When I graduated from DTS I thought in terms of serving Christ for the next forty years or more.
I remember calling Dr. Ryrie and asking him if he would be on my ordination committee and preach my ordination service. He agreed. Then I told him, “I’ve been preaching every week for four months now and I love it.”
Dr. Ryrie sagely replied, “That’s great Bob. But will you still be faithfully proclaiming God’s Word forty years from now?”
That was 1982. It has been thirty-four years. In six years, if I am able, I will have been preaching and writing for forty years.
I no longer think that it is likely I’ll serve the Lord for another forty years. I now think I’ll be blessed if I’m able to serve full-time for another ten or fifteen of twenty years.
When I taught at Multnomah Bible College I heard Dr. John Mitchell preach. He was 94 and he did a great job of verse by verse Bible exposition.
I’d love to be like Dr. Mitchell, still preaching Christ with vigor in my mid-nineties.
But length of days and strength of days is in the Lord’s hands, not mine. I eat well and work out daily. I’m doing my part to stay fit. But I can only do so much. Ultimately God determines how much longer I’ll be able to serve.
The same is true for all of us. May God give us the wisdom to do our best in our service for Him for as long as we are able. Whether we have months or years or decades left to serve Him, the key is that we are found faithful by Him (1 Cor 4:1-5). Oh that we might hear Him say, “Well done, good servant” (Luke 19:17).