Psalm 39

Life is short.

The pain of sin is real.

We need a Savior.

These are some of the lessons of Psalm 39.

David wrote Psalm 39 at time when he was painfully aware of his own sin. Rebuked and disciplined by God, the heavy weight of sin’s consequences caused David to reflect on how short life really is, to look to God as his source of hope, and to cry out to God for forgiveness and help.

Life is short.

Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.Each man’s life is but a breath. (v. 4-5)

David asks God to make him aware of the brevity of his life. He acknowledges that the length of his life is determined by God.

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth,
not knowing who will get it. (v. 6)

Knowing that life is short, David recognizes the futility of busyness and seeking after wealth.

But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you. (v. 7)

Life is short. Wealth is fleeting. So now what? David focuses on God and places his hope in Him.

The pain of sin is real.

Remove your scourge from me;I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
You rebuke and discipline men for their sin;
you consume their wealth like a moth –
each man is but a breath. (v. 10-11)

David recognizes that his own sin is the source of his painful discipline. Because of his deep love for God and trust in His goodness, David turns to God. His pain drives David to confess his sin and place his hope in God.

We need a Savior.

Save me from all my transgressions (v. 8a)

Hear my prayer, O LORD,listen to my cry for help;
be not deaf to my weeping. (v. 12a)

David tried to keep silent in his suffering, but silence only increased his anguish. Crying out to God, confessing his sin, and asking for God’s help brought relief.

Life is short.
Psalm 39 invites us to examine our priorities, to refuse to bustle about in vain, to make our lives count.

The pain of sin is real.
Psalm 39 invites us to examine our hearts and confess sin quickly.

We need a Savior.
Psalm 39 gives us words to shape our prayers as we cry out to God for help. He is our only hope.

Hear my prayer, O LORD,listen to my cry for help;
be not deaf to my weeping. (v. 12)

But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you. (v. 7)

Father, show me how to prioritize my days. I don’t want to hurry around just to look busy. Examine my heart. Show me how I’ve sinned against You. I confess my sins to You and thank You for Your salvation, paid for by the death of Jesus on the cross. Hear my prayer, O Lord. My hope is in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

psalm 39

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