Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8 — Psalm 39

The insignificance of man before God

For the choirmaster, for Jeduthun, psalm of David.

I said, ‘I will watch how I behave,
and not let my tongue lead me into sin;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked man is near me.’
I stayed dumb, silent, speechless,
though the sight of him thriving
made torment increase.

My heart had been smoldering inside me,
but it flared up at the thought of this
and the words burst out,
‘Tell me, Yahweh, when my end will be,
how many days are allowed me,
show me how frail I am.

‘Look, You have given me an inch or two of life,
my life-span is nothing to You;
each man that stands on earth
is only a puff of wind, selah,
every man that walks, only a shadow,
and the wealth he amasses is only a puff of wind—
he does not know who will take it next.’

So tell me, Lord, what can I expect?
My hope is in You.
Free me from all my sins,
do not make me the butt of idiots.
I am dumb, I speak no more,
since You Yourself have been at work.

Lay Your scourge aside,
I am worn out with the blows You deal me.
You punish man with the penalties of sin,
like a moth You eat away
all that gives him pleasure—
man is indeed only a puff of wind! Selah.

Yahweh, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for help,
do not stay deaf to my crying.
I am Your guest, and only for a time,
a nomad like all my ancestors.
Look away, let me draw breath,
before I go away and am no more!

Next… Psalm 40

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