Psalm 39 🔊 1I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. 2I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. 3My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, 4LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. 5Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. 6Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. 7And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. 8Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. 9I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. 10Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. 11When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. 12Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 13O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.
Today's Scripture Meaning 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.
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Psalm with Chapter 39. In our text today we see a theme of how life is fleeting and empty apart from God. What catches my eye is how David realized how life is brief. The Bible goes on to explaining how life is a vapor - here today and gone tomorrow. In making application many of us believe that we will live forever and death will never come to our lives but as we get older we see that life is so short. Many of us spend our lives instead of investing our lives in others. A life invested in Christ is not only fulfilling but also rewarding as the Lord will bless your faithfulness in the afterlife. How about you? Are you investing your life in others or are you spending your life on yourself? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that our days are numbered so let us be wise to choose the fulfilling path of life as we invest our lives in others.
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Sincerely, Dr. Dave Burnette Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.