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 Living Translation

Psalm 39

Psalm 39

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do
    and not sin in what I say.
I will hold my tongue
    when the ungodly are around me.”
But as I stood there in silence—
    not even speaking of good things—
    the turmoil within me grew worse.
The more I thought about it,
    the hotter I got,
    igniting a fire of words:
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you.
Rescue me from my rebellion.
    Do not let fools mock me.
I am silent before you; I won’t say a word,
    for my punishment is from you.
10 But please stop striking me!
    I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.
11 When you discipline us for our sins,
    you consume like a moth what is precious to us.
    Each of us is but a breath. Interlude

12 Hear my prayer, O Lord!
    Listen to my cries for help!
    Don’t ignore my tears.
For I am your guest—
    a traveler passing through,
    as my ancestors were before me.
13 Leave me alone so I can smile again
    before I am gone and exist no more.