Psalms 39

Psalm 39

1

For the music leader. To Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

1 I promised I would watch my steps so as not to sin with my tongue; promised to keep my mouth shut as long as the wicked were in my presence.
2 So I was completely quiet, silent. I kept my peace, but it did no good. My pain got worse.
3 My heart got hot inside me; while stewing over it, the fire burned. Then I spoke out with my tongue:
4 "Let me know my end, LORD. How many days do I have left? I want to know how brief my time is."
5 You've made my days so short; my lifetime is like nothing in your eyes. Yes, a human life is nothing but a puff of air! Selah
6 Yes, people wander around like shadows; yes, they hustle and bustle, but pointlessly; they don't even know who will get the wealth they've amassed.
7 So now, Lord, what should I be waiting for? My hope is set on you.
8 Deliver me from all my sins; don't make me some foolish person's joke.
9 I am completely silent; I won't open my mouth because you have acted.
10 Get this plague of yours off me! I'm being destroyed by the blows from your fist.
11 You discipline people for their sin, punishing them; like a moth, you ruin what they treasure. Yes, a human life is just a puff of air! Selah
12 Hear my prayer, LORD! Listen closely to my cry for help! Please don't ignore my tears! I'm just a foreigner— an immigrant staying with you, just like all my ancestors were.
13 Look away from me so I can be happy again before I pass away and am gone.

Images for Psalms 39

Psalms 39 Commentary

Chapter 39

David meditates on man's frailty. (1-6) He applies for pardon and deliverance. (7-13)

Verses 1-6 If an evil thought should arise in the mind, suppress it. Watchfulness in the habit, is the bridle upon the head; watchfulness in acts, is the hand upon the bridle. When not able to separate from wicked men, we should remember they will watch our words, and turn them, if they can, to our disadvantage. Sometimes it may be necessary to keep silence, even from good words; but in general we are wrong when backward to engage in edifying discourse. Impatience is a sin that has its cause within ourselves, and that is, musing; and its ill effects upon ourselves, and that is no less than burning. In our greatest health and prosperity, every man is altogether vanity, he cannot live long; he may die soon. This is an undoubted truth, but we are very unwilling to believe it. Therefore let us pray that God would enlighten our minds by his Holy Spirit, and fill our hearts with his grace, that we may be ready for death every day and hour.

Verses 7-13 There is no solid satisfaction to be had in the creature; but it is to be found in the Lord, and in communion with him; to him we should be driven by our disappointments. If the world be nothing but vanity, may God deliver us from having or seeking our portion in it. When creature-confidences fail, it is our comfort that we have a God to go to, a God to trust in. We may see a good God doing all, and ordering all events concerning us; and a good man, for that reason, says nothing against it. He desires the pardoning of his sin, and the preventing of his shame. We must both watch and pray against sin. When under the correcting hand of the Lord, we must look to God himself for relief, not to any other. Our ways and our doings bring us into trouble, and we are beaten with a rod of our own making. What a poor thing is beauty! and what fools are those that are proud of it, when it will certainly, and may quickly, be consumed! The body of man is as a garment to the soul. In this garment sin has lodged a moth, which wears away, first the beauty, then the strength, and finally the substance of its parts. Whoever has watched the progress of a lingering distemper, or the work of time alone, in the human frame, will feel at once the force of this comparison, and that, surely every man is vanity. Afflictions are sent to stir up prayer. If they have that effect, we may hope that God will hear our prayer. The believer expects weariness and ill treatment on his way to heaven; but he shall not stay here long : walking with God by faith, he goes forward on his journey, not diverted from his course, nor cast down by the difficulties he meets. How blessed it is to sit loose from things here below, that while going home to our Father's house, we may use the world as not abusing it! May we always look for that city, whose Builder and Maker is God.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 39 Commentaries

Copyright © 2011 Common English Bible