There were times when men lived to be hundreds of years old. Adam was 930 years old when he died. Methuselah reached 969, and Noah died when he was 950 years old. But after the flood, things changed quickly. Abraham did live until he was 175 years old, and Moses, even though he lived to be 120 years old, spoke the truth when in Psalm 90 he said, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow: for it is soon cut off, and we fly away, “Psalm 90:10.
But the question Moses then asks is an important one. In verse 11 he asks, “Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is Thy wrath.” We do well to note that the words “so is” are in italics, which means that they do not appear in the original Hebrew. A better translation is, “who knoweth the fierceness of thy anger and thy wrath according to thy fear?” The idea is that those who fear God, that is, have faith in Him, are aware of the fierceness of His wrath and can know the power of it and of God’s anger.
The unbelievers die, and sometimes take their own fives without fear, because they do not believe that there is a God whom they will face, and to whom they must give answer for all their deeds. They think that death is relief and ends all their miseries, rather than that by the power of God they will have to face awful, unending misery in the lake of fire. Therefore they continue in their sins and add to the punishment they are going to suffer.
No, we must know the power of God’s wrath; and we ought to sing:
For threescore years and ten we wait,
Or fourscore years if strength be great;
But grief and toil attend life’s day,
And soon our spirits fly away;
O who with true and reverent thought
Can fear Thy anger as he ought?
What folly the unbeliever displays!
Stand in awe before that power.
Read: Psalm 39
Psalter versification: 245:5
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.