Living According to Our Days

Yael Eckstein  |  March 19, 2021

The fear of the LORD adds length to life,
     but the years of the wicked are cut short
. — Proverbs 10:27

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

In my work at The Fellowship, I’ve learned about the importance of setting goals to be met one year, five years, and even ten years down the line. This ensures that we stay focused on our aspirations and constantly work toward them. However, my role as a mother has taught me about the importance of taking life one day at a time. The years go by so quickly, and I want to make the most of every day with my children.

In Proverbs, we read, “The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.” When translated from original Hebrew, the verse reads, “The fear of the LORD adds days…” The Jewish sages explained that the righteous live in terms of days, while the wicked live according to years.

Living According to Our Days

The sages explained that God-fearing people aim for spiritual achievements — something that can be attained every day. Each day presents new opportunities to deepen our faith, to work on our character, and to extend kindness to others. As time goes by, we can accrue many meaningful days that have eternal significance. This is what it means to live according to our days — we make every day count with acts that truly matter.

In contrast, others live their lives according to years. These people have purely material life goals which usually require years of hard work in order to attain them. In the process, individual days lose their intrinsic value and become mere steppingstones toward the greater goals.

Moreover, there are never enough years for anyone to reach all their material goals in one lifetime. This is what the verse means when it says that “the years of the wicked are cut short” — life is never long enough for those who strive only for material success.

While it is helpful to have long-term goals in many areas of our lives, we always need to make the most of the present. If we live only for the sake of future material goals, we sacrifice the beauty and opportunities of each day. But, when we live life according to our days and our spiritual values, our hearts are full, our lives are full, and we rejoice in every day God gives us.

Your Turn:

Tune in on Sunday when the latest episode of my new podcast, “Nourish Your Biblical Roots,” airs.

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