Gracious Lord, give me the faith I need to trust in your faithful care. I want to go about doing your will each day.
Read PSALM 39
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1 I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked.”
2 So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
3 my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.[b]
6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
8 Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
12 “Hear my prayer, Lord,
listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”
- Psalm 39:1 In Hebrew texts 39:1-13 is numbered 39:2-14.
- Psalm 39:5 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 11.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘The death he [Jesus] died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God’ (Romans 6:10).
The psalms often speak to the human condition, in this case to death. How long have I got and will the Lord be merciful? Other than wishing to put their affairs in order, why the author of this psalm should want to know how long they have left to live, we do not know (v 4). Yet perhaps if we knew the time and manner of our passing away, we would probably spend our time trying to avoid death rather than living life in its fullness.
Our mortal life may be short, but is given to us to love, recognize, and praise our Creator. Then we give thanks and realize that through Jesus, our lives can be brought to eternal life and holiness.
When God created us, he didn’t create automatons, but people with free will to love him or not as they desire. Those who love him are being sanctified (being made perfect), and will continue to love him in the next life. Those who reject him will separate themselves from him forever. Length of life or the manner of our death matters less than where we are going, because wherever that is, it will be for eternity.
Are you more concerned with the number of your days than you are to gratefully live today and every day in the light of God’s Word?
Yes Lord, my life has many ups and downs. Sometimes I feel like asking you to look away, but you are for me, not against me. Hallelujah, all praise to you.
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