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.”
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.
But please stop striking me!
I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.
When you discipline us for our sins,
you consume like a moth what is precious to us.
Each of us is but a breath.
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.
Leave me alone so I can smile again
before I am gone and exist no more.
Today, I won’t write much. Just wanted to meditate on this psalm. I often get mixed up in the things of today, my problems, my heartaches and whatever else. But, do I stop to think about the brevity or vanity of my life? If I had the proper perspective of life, I would know that I’m just passing through, in the hard times just as much as in the good times. I would know that today’s problems will be forgotten 5 years or 10 years down the line and remembered no more in eternity.
So, why do I complain and whine about the life I’ve been given? No matter if it is me telling you or me telling me, this is a tough pill to swallow. Today I’m rushed. This weekend is already a frenzy in my mind. But, once I stand on the other side of Sunday, I think I’ll be able to breath normally again. Yet, life goes on.
The same is true in my marriage. If I can simply remember that in the future, these things will not be important, in eternity, I’ll not remember them, then I would live happier here. At least I would think it should work that way.
I think I’ll type my notes from my study bible in for you to contemplate.
Note on verse 39:1-3
David resolved to keep his tongue from sin; that is, he decided not to complain to other people about God’s treatment of him. David certainly had reason to complain. David was the anointed king of Israel, but he had to wait many years before taking the throne. Then one of his sons tried to kill him and become king instead. But when David could not keep still any longer, he took his complaints directly to God. We all have complaints about our job, money, or situation, but complaining to others may make them think that God cannot take care of us. It may also look as if we blame God for our troubles. Instead, like David, we should take our complaints directly to God.
Note on verse 39:4
Life is short no matter how long we live. If there is something important we want to do, we must not put it off for a better day. Ask yourself ‘If I only had six months to live, what would I do?’ Tell someone that you love him or her? Deal with an undisciplined area in your life? Tell someone about Jesus? Because life is short, don’t neglect what is truly important.
Note on verse 39:5, 6
The brevity of life is a theme throughout the books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Jesus also spoke about it (Luke 12:20). It is ironic that people spend so much time securing their lives on earth but take little or not thought about where they will spend eternity. David realized that amassing riches and busily accomplishing worldly tasks would make no difference in eternity. Few people understand that their only hope is in the Lord. (For other verses on the brevity of life, see Ecclesiastes 2:18 and James 4:14.)
I guess, I feel that I should always keep in my mind that “this to shall pass.” It is so hard sometimes, but it is true. There are so many things in my life that I’ve had to ‘suffer’ through and yet, deep down I’ve always known that once I reached the other side of that particular difficulty, it wouldn’t matter anymore or at least it would fade away.
I have many times reminded myself of this in the first part of my relationship with my husband and all the difficulties within that relationship, but I seemed to have forgotten this very true statement as of late. I am glad that the Lord has reminded me of this.
I very much need to live as if eternity awaits me tomorrow and today will soon be over.
I think I’ve said plenty today. I’m fairly contemplative and digesting the meaning in this psalm so I hope that you will gather something out of it as well.
May God provide the increase.