The Message

Psalm 39

A David Psalm

11-3 I’m determined to watch steps and tongue
    so they won’t land me in trouble.
I decided to hold my tongue
    as long as Wicked is in the room.
“Mum’s the word,” I said, and kept quiet.
    But the longer I kept silence
The worse it got—
    my insides got hotter and hotter.
My thoughts boiled over;
    I spilled my guts.

4-6 “Tell me, what’s going on, God?
    How long do I have to live?
    Give me the bad news!
You’ve kept me on pretty short rations;
    my life is string too short to be saved.
Oh! we’re all puffs of air.
    Oh! we’re all shadows in a campfire.
Oh! we’re just spit in the wind.
    We make our pile, and then we leave it.

7-11 “What am I doing in the meantime, Lord?
    Hoping, that’s what I’m doing—hoping
You’ll save me from a rebel life,
    save me from the contempt of dunces.
I’ll say no more, I’ll shut my mouth,
    since you, Lord, are behind all this.
    But I can’t take it much longer.
When you put us through the fire
    to purge us from our sin,
    our dearest idols go up in smoke.
Are we also nothing but smoke?

12-13 “Ah, God, listen to my prayer, my
    cry—open your ears.
Don’t be callous;
    just look at these tears of mine.
I’m a stranger here. I don’t know my way—
    a migrant like my whole family.
Give me a break, cut me some slack
    before it’s too late and I’m out of here.”

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 39

Psalm 39

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

I said, “I will be careful about how I live.
    I will not sin by what I say.
I will keep my mouth closed
    when I am near sinful people.”
So I was completely silent.
    I didn’t even say anything good.
    But the pain inside me grew worse.
My heart was deeply troubled.
    As I thought about what was happening to me,
I became even more troubled.
    Then I spoke out.

I said, “Lord, show me when my life will end.
    Show me how many days I have left.
    Tell me how short my life will be.
You have given me only a few days to live.
    My whole life doesn’t seem like anything to you.
    No one lasts any longer than a breath.
    This is true even for those who feel secure.
People are only shadows as they go here and there.
    They rush around, but it doesn’t mean anything.
    They pile up wealth, but they don’t know who will finally get it.

“Lord, what can I look forward to now?
    You are the only hope I have.
Save me from all the wrong things I’ve done.
    Don’t let foolish people make fun of me.
I keep silent. I don’t open my mouth.
    You are the one who has caused all this to happen.
10 Please stop beating me.
    I’m about to die from the blows of your hand.
11 You correct and punish people for their sin.
    Then, just as a moth eats cloth, you destroy their wealth.
    No one lasts any longer than a breath.

12 Lord, hear my prayer.
    Listen to my cry for help.
    Pay attention to my weeping.
I’m like an outsider in your home.
    I’m just a stranger, like all my family who lived before me.
13 Leave me alone.
    Let me enjoy life again before I die.”