Psalm 39

Psalm 39

A Psalm of David


Verses 1-2

New King James Version

David is speaking...

I said,

“I will guard my ways,
Lest I sin with my tongue;

I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,
While the wicked are before me.”

I was mute with silence,
I held my peace even from good;
And my sorrow was stirred up."

Note: Verse 2 and the translated word "sorrow" is translated in other versions as such as anguish, distress, and pain.

See -

David's sorrow was stirred up but he remained silent.


David knows to be careful what he says. 

He doesn't want to speak

in front of wicked ones

in this difficult time.

* * * 


David knows our tongue can get us into


* * * 


God has

several warnings to us

about our tongue.

Such as

James 3:2 b -11

If anyone does not stumble in word,
he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.

Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.


Verse 3

My heart was hot within me;
While I was musing, the fire burned.
Then I spoke with my tongue:

David was trying to hold himself back from speaking

about the situation,

but eventually he did speak about it to God.


Verses 4-6

“Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.

Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah

Surely every man walks about like a shadow;
Surely they busy themselves in vain;
He heaps up riches,
And does not know who will gather them.

In verse 4,

David is probably not trying to know

how old he will be when he dies.


David is wanting to get more perspective on

how short life is and how frail man is.


he believes that

if he gets this perspective,

he will be better able to endure difficulties


be better able to obey God more fully.


Psalm 103

helps us get a perspective on the shortness of life

and on

the mercy of God.

Psalm 103:15-17 NKJV

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him.

Psalm 90:12 NKJV

So teach us to number our days,

That we may gain a heart of wisdom. 


Verse 7

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You."

In the first sentence of verse 7,

David is asking for direction.

The direction will help him formulate goals for himself.

Then in the second sentence,

David gives out a praise to God.

"My hope is in You."

My hope....

My faith

My confidence

My reliance...

is in



Verse 8

Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.


Here, David is asking

to be delivered from the consequences

of the sins

that opened the door to his troubles.

* * * 


are not always caused by our sins


we need to realize


they ARE sometimes the root of our troubles.

For example, see Psalm 78:38-41.


Verse 9

I was mute, I did not open my mouth,
Because it was You who did it.

10 Remove Your plague from me;
I am consumed by the blow of Your hand.

11 When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity,
You make his beauty melt away like a moth;
Surely every man is vapor. Selah

God was disciplining David.


Have you ever been disciplined by God?

I have....

It wasn't a quick thing either.

It continued for days.

God really "underlined" his message to me.

God wanted me to realize the seriousness of my actions.

He forgave me the first time I asked.


my punishment didn't end right after I repented.


Verse 12

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,

And give ear to my cry;

Do not be silent at my tears;

For I am a stranger with You,

A sojourner, as all my fathers were.

David is asking God to respond to him with mercy.

Today as I read this verse,
I am reminded of Psalm 56:8
(see below)
I am reminded that
even if we are being disciplined,
God still has a heart of compassion.

He even collects and preserves all our tears.....

He cares about our sorrows and hurts -

even if we caused them.

Psalm 56:8 NLT


"You have seen me tossing and turning

through the night.

You have collected all my tears


preserved them in your bottle!

You have recorded every one in your book."

* * * 

By believing the Bible,

we can get comfort from knowing that

God is lovingly

preserving our tears.


Verse 13

13 Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength,

Before I go away and am no more.”

David knows that

God will, at some point, remove the discipline from him. 

David is asking that the time be soon.

Let us not forget that in

Hebrews 4:16, 

God tells us that we can boldly come

before the throne of grace.


God sometimes says, "No."

God answers our requests

by doing

the best thing for us.

So sometimes we get our requests


sometimes we don't. 


David is coming before God and asking God

to quit looking at him

with his "discipline / stern" face.

God was being stern with him in order to

underline the seriousness of what God was telling him. 

Hebrews 12:5-13 NLT


“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and don’t give up when he corrects you.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?

If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.

Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.

I emphasize verses 11-13.

11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.

13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

Proverbs 2:11 NLT


Wise choices will watch over you.

  Understanding will keep you safe.

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