I said, “I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was mute and silent;
I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.
My heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
“O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
Comment: If the work of a writer is to stimulate thought, this writer has been a success with me! Knowing that the tongue can be hurtful, destructive and curse or alternatively encourage and bless, David decides to be quiet. I’m not sure why it was only when he was in the presence of the ‘wicked’ that he kept his mouth muzzled. His muzzle might have worked successfully on his lips but underneath his heart (?his true feelings) became hot and burst out through his mouth. His silence is broken.
But why does he say what he now says? He seems to be questioning the purpose of life. He asks how long he is going to live. Where as we might say ‘how long is a piece of string’ confessing that we don’t know – he says about 10 cms, two hands breadth, underlining life’s brevity. There is no permanence, man is like a ghost (shadow) walking around. Why work hard and save up because someone else is going to get it all in the end. Have you ever felt like that?
Prayer: Please lead me through the questioning phase to discover Your answers.
One thought on “Psalm 39: 1-6….What do you make of this?”
It seems to me that David also reminds me of the permanence of God. He sees our frailty but God thankfully is not frail and is everlasting.