Songs of Praise: Psalm 39

Psalm 39
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The psalmist, David, expresses full awareness of life’s brevity. He requests respite from life’s blows sensed as God’s punishment for sin, and makes supplication for divine mercy.

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.
Look away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more!”
Psalm 39:12-13

David attributes his suffering to the wrath of God, brought on him by his own sin. Life is short; one’s strength is like a shadow. He realizes efforts of his own are futile. He prays only to be delivered from the consequences of his sin.

From his own hopelessness the psalmist turns to the one ground of hope left to him. He sees only a wrathful God. He asks God to withdraw and leave him a brief period of happiness before he is finally cut off by death.

Father, I am only Your guest for a little while in this life.
I am grateful for all that You are, and all that You do.
Proclaim Your work in my life by the forgiveness of my sin.
May I experience Your joy more fully and share it with others
who are also willing to learn and live Your Word. Amen.

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