Most theological scholars believed that Moses wrote this prayer after being told by God that he and the whole generation of 20 years and above then (except for Joshua & Caleb) lost that privilege to enter the promised land because of a lack of trust & faith in God that he struck the rock in anger to bring water out for the grumbling Israelites to drink instead of speaking to the rock as the Lord had told him. They had to continue wandering in the wilderness until that whole generation who disobeyed God died in the desert (Numbers 20).
With that as a background, we read that Moses started the prayer by reflecting on who God is -our dwelling place (v.1), Creator, Everlasting God (v.2) and Judge (v.6). Then he recalled what they have gone through, standing under the wrath of God (v.7-11), and ending that prayer requesting God for wisdom and compassion.
It is comforting to note and be reminded that in these challenging times, with the unceasing presence of the coronavirus, that God is our dwelling place. He has been our dwelling place throughout all generations. In John 15:4, it says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” As we remain in Him, He will continue to refresh us and shelter us from all harm. Let us not “run away” from God but rather “run towards” Him and find our refuge in Him. When God is our dwelling place in the midst of our everyday life, we can tap into His divine power. As mentioned in 2 Peter 1:3 that “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
The reflection on God as the creator reminded us that God was there in the very beginning, before the earth was formed. Knowing He is our Creator reinforces our confidence that God can and will take good care of us. God is also our Judge. When our lives come to an end, all of us will face the judgment of God (2 Cor 5:10). Knowing that statement will help us not to think that we are invincible, and will led us to seek for God’s mercy.
Verse 12 reminds us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. It is very easy for us to put off the important things of God until we have time to do. We tend to be so busy living our lives. But the problem is that time does not wait for us. Time is precious. When the minutes and seconds passed, we cannot take them back. We must make full use of time by investing them for a good cause, to do God’s will. When we do that we will reap in a good harvest in due time. If we keep telling God to wait, the day may come when it is too late to do anything at all. Life is short. It is like the morning fog as mentioned in James 4:14. No one knows the length of their life, only God knows. Therefore, we need to work to make the most of each day by living wisely, live life with God in mind.
Suggested Personal Prayer
Thank you, Lord, for being my dwelling place. I ask for your wisdom and strength to enable me to walk in your ways. Help me not to take for granted each new day that you have given to me, but to know how to spend that day wisely with you in mind.