In 2001 I won a trip to Russia to fly in a Mig-29 and it was quite an exciting flight. Prior to the flight, we were required to go through ejection seat training so we would be prepared. In the event of an ejection seat scenario the pilot would give the command to “prepare to eject,” which meant you pulled your knees to your chest and took hold of the handle that activated the seat ejection mode. No further action would be required until the pilot gave the command to “eject, eject, eject!”
God has given us a command to prepare to “eject” as to “fly away” and we shall do so upon His command. Considering the words of Moses in Psalm 90 we can see how we must live on ready in preparing to eject or fly away.
Psalm 90:1–12 (ESV) — 1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” 4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. 5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. 7 For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. 8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9 For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. 10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 11 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.
Notice the focal point in verse 10 about the brevity of life:
Psalm 90:10 (ESV) — 10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Despite the fact that God has been, is, and ever shall be our dwelling place in every generation, our lives on this earth are quite brief compared to eternity. If we should live to seventy or even eighty years of age, it’s just a flash when you think of eternity. Other places of Scripture use analogies of a mere breath, shadow, and mist to convey how short our lives really are.
Psalm 39:5 (ESV) — 5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Psalm 39:6 (ESV) — 6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
James 4:13–14 (ESV) — 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
So, how do we prepare to fly away?
Psalm 90:12 (ESV) — 12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Numbering our days helps us to remind ourselves of the brevity of life so we’ll learn to prioritize to make the most of the days in which we live.
Ephesians 5:15–17 (ESV) — 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Specifically, Moses goes on in Psalm 90 to further instruct us as the command to “prepare to eject” is given in the reminder that we shall soon “fly away” so we should number our days and apply our hearts to wisdom. Notice his instruction in what his prayer requests for pity or mercy, satisfaction with God and His mercy, joy in the Lord, including times of affliction, ability to see the hand of God, and blessing as we serve the Lord to His glory.
Psalm 90:13–17 (ESV) — 13 Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. 16 Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. 17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
The point is this: we are here for a short time and in order to make the most of it, we should live on ready by being “prepared to eject or fly away” in applying our hearts unto wisdom in where we focus, what we do, and how we pray. Take a moment and read through Psalm 90 today and meditate upon the truth you find there.