The Bible – Old Testament
1 For the leader, for Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
I said, “I will watch my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will set a curb on my mouth.”
Dumb and silent before the wicked, I refrained from any speech. But my sorrow increased;
my heart smoldered within me. In my thoughts a fire blazed up, and I broke into speech:
LORD, let me know my end, the number of my days, that I may learn how frail I am.
You have given my days a very short span; my life is as nothing before you. All mortals are but a breath. Selah
Mere phantoms, we go our way; mere vapor, our restless pursuits; we heap up stores without knowing for whom.
And now, Lord, what future do I have? You are my only hope.
From all my sins deliver me; let me not be the taunt of fools.
I was silent and did not open my mouth because you were the one who did this.
Take your plague away from me; I am ravaged by the touch of your hand.
You rebuke our guilt and chasten us; you dissolve all we prize like a cobweb. All mortals are but a breath. Selah
Listen to my prayer, LORD, hear my cry; do not be deaf to my weeping! I sojourn with you like a passing stranger, a guest, like all my ancestors.
Turn your gaze from me, that I may find peace before I depart to be no more.
1 [Psalm 39] The lament of a mortally ill person who at first had resolved to remain silently submissive (⇒ Psalm 39:2-4). But the grief was too much and now the psalmist laments the brevity and vanity of life (⇒ Psalm 39:5-7), yet remaining hopeful (⇒ Psalm 39:8-10). The psalmist continues to express both acceptance of the illness and hope for healing in ⇒ Psalm 39:11-13.