“So Teach Us to Number Our Days”
By Jim Schneider, Executive Director
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is in the top tier of richest men in the world. He reportedly is investing some $42 million to construct a 10,000 Year Clock. This 500-foot clock is being built by Danny Hillis, a computer scientist who has been thinking about such a clock since 1989. The location of this mammoth undertaking is inside a remote mountain in the Sierra Diablo mountains in West Texas.
According to 10000yearclock.net, they have carved a 500-foot vertical shaft that is 12 ½ feet in diameter. “Carved into the mountain are five room-sized anniversary chambers: 1 year, 10 year, 100 year, 1000 year and 10,000 year anniversaries…The clock will activate and run the orrery once a year on a pre-determined date at solar noon.”
The desire of the designer of the 10,000 Year Clock plans to use the Earth’s thermal cycles to power itself. The clock is being designed to tick once a year. It will have a century hand which will advance once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium. The Clock’s chime generator will create a different bell ringing sequence each day for 10,000 years.
So why make such a clock? “The Clock provides a rare invitation to think and engineer at the timescale of civilization. It offers an enduring symbol of our personal connection to the distant future.” (longnow.org)
While great effort, great time and great expense are going into the development of this monstrous project, one is left perplexed as to how such individuals can be so focused on this futuristic project of distant time and connections, to the spiritual neglect and importance of this very moment and one’s own eternal destiny.
However, even in this vein a humanistic approach is being pursued. Previously MIT Technology Review indicated that Bezos is an investor in a firm (Altos Labs) working on prolonging life. Some reports indicate they are on a quest for achieving immortality as they work on age-reversal.
Instead of recognizing the truth of God’s Word, the brevity of life and the need to prepare for one’s eternal destiny, futile efforts are being employed in a quest to perform and master the impossible. The Scriptures are very clear in addressing the fact that the days of man are numbered.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away…So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:10, 12)
Biblical wisdom directs us to fear God and to keep His commandments. It also directs us to yield to the One who made us, (our Creator), recognize our accountability before him and surrender to Him.
Yet man in his foolishness is enslaved to his own pursuits while believing his way is best and that somehow he can beat God’s ordained plan. The Bible clearly warns, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
No matter how much money one might invest in prolonging his life or connecting with future generations ten millennia from now, the Scriptures plainly address the futility of such endeavors. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
It is wrong for us to believe that these warnings only apply to “the rich and famous.” No matter our socio-economic station in life, it is foolish for anyone to ignore the truth of the Scriptures. Each of us has an appointment with death that cannot be altered. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)
As we enter a New Year it is critical for each one to take inventory of their life and consider how one stands before a righteous and holy God. The Bible says that every man, woman, and child is a sinner. This sin separates us from God who is just and holy and punishes sin. However, in His great love for every individual, He sent His only begotten Son into this world, Who was born as a baby as fully God and fully man. Jesus took our sin upon Himself, and died on the cross paying the penalty for our sin. He was buried and rose again. He ascended back to heaven to prepare a place for those who place their trust in Him.
It is critically important for each individual to place their trust in Jesus Christ while we still have this moment.
It is both tragically sad and eternally foolish to think that we can invest our efforts in a clock to tick for the next 10,000 years, and yet be caught eternally short if our heart stops ticking in the next second. While you do not know when your last breath will be, as you take your next, call out to God for Him to save you. Place your trust in Jesus. “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2b)