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Psalm 39

June 4, 2009

Perhaps this is a follow-up to Psalm 38 in that David has agreed to keep his mouth shut to ask the Lord’s direction.  The illness he describes in Psalm 38 is the Lord’s discipline as stated also in Psalm 39:11.  He has confessed his sin in Psalm 38 and now seeks the Lord’s direction in the days remaining.  In many ways this psalm is very appropriate for those who are in the process of retiring and are seeking the Lord’s direction in their remaining years.  In other words; “In the time I have left, how can I be effective?”

David begins by telling of his commitment to watch what he does and what he says.  He is not saying anything bad to the wicked.  He is not even saying anything good.  By and large he is remaining silent and just listening.  Listening is good but he is angered by what he hears.  What he hears does not conform to what he thinks is right and just.  I had similar feelings when I retired.  The company promised but they refused to deliver.  They even refused to simply admit they had made a mistake.  They refused to practice the virtues of honesty and integrity.

David is uncertain, as I was, concerning his future so he asks that the Lord show him what the future holds recognizing that the time he has left is very short.  In fact the time we have on earth is short compared to eternity.  We work and we gain wealth but it has no eternal value.  Solomon, David’s son, struggled even more with this philosophy [see Ecclesiastes].  David’s hope is in the Lord, not in his position or his wealth.  He asks the Lord to lead him and to remove his transgressions.  He wants to be valued in God’s sight, not mans’ [vs. 7-11].

David cries to the Lord for help and direction.  He wants no more of the Lord’s discipline in his remaining days.  He has asked forgiveness and now desires the Lord’s assurance that his remaining days will be filled with joy [vs. 8, 12, 13].

Our prayer should be similar regardless of our age.  We live on earth just a short time.  We are to ask His forgiveness, be silent before Him seeking His direction, and then place our hope and trust in Him that we may live rejoicing in the few remaining days of our lives.  Eternity is what counts, eternity with the Lord.  Anything else is vanity.

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