Psalm 39 Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

I said, “I will guard my ways,
Lest I sin with my tongue;
I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,
While the wicked are before me.”
I was mute with silence,
I held my peace even from good;
And my sorrow was stirred up.
My heart was hot within me;
While I was musing, the fire burned.
Then I spoke with my tongue:

“Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.
Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Surely every man walks about like a shadow;
Surely they busy themselves in vain;
He heaps up riches,
And does not know who will gather them
.

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.
Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
I was mute, I did not open my mouth,
Because it was You who did it.
Remove Your plague from me;
I am consumed by the blow of Your hand.
When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity,
You make his beauty melt away like a moth;
Surely every man is vapor. Selah

“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am a stranger with You,
A sojourner, as all my fathers were.
Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength,
Before I go away and am no more.”

Sometimes the best choice of action when in distress and before the world is to remain silent. Though extremely difficult to take the jaunting and mockery, our responses may not show a Christ-like attitude. Even when we are being disciplined by God or we have “growing pains” in the faith, it hurts and we may lash out wrongly at the people we should be helping.

In this Psalm, David understood how short and fickle human life tends to be. We strive in vain to build up our own wordly kingdom of stabilty and certainty, but the only hope that is unfaltering remains in God alone. No amount of our planning and hard work will redeem us. It the end, only God can preserve our health and bodies.

A bit of a different note is that in the end, David pleaded that God remove His gaze from him, meaning that he wished for God to just leave him alone if no delievery from his trials were to be offered.

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