+     Text Size    

1 (To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.) I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

2 I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.

5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

8 Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.

9 I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

10 Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

12 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

Commentary for Psalms 39

David meditates on man's frailty. (1-6) He applies for pardon and deliverance. (7-13)

1-6 If an evil thought should arise in the mind, suppress it. Watchfulness in the habit, is the bridle upon the head; watchfulness in acts, is the hand upon the bridle. When not able to separate from wicked men, we should remember they will watch our words, and turn them, if they can, to our disadvantage. Sometimes it may be necessary to keep silence, even from good words; but in general we are wrong when backward to engage in edifying discourse. Impatience is a sin that has its cause within ourselves, and that is, musing; and its ill effects upon ourselves, and that is no less than burning. In our greatest health and prosperity, every man is altogether vanity, he cannot live long; he may die soon. This is an undoubted truth, but we are very unwilling to believe it. Therefore let us pray that God would enlighten our minds by his Holy Spirit, and fill our hearts with his grace, that we may be ready for death every day and hour.

7-13 There is no solid satisfaction to be had in the creature; but it is to be found in the Lord, and in communion with him; to him we should be driven by our disappointments. If the world be nothing but vanity, may God deliver us from having or seeking our portion in it. When creature-confidences fail, it is our comfort that we have a God to go to, a God to trust in. We may see a good God doing all, and ordering all events concerning us; and a good man, for that reason, says nothing against it. He desires the pardoning of his sin, and the preventing of his shame. We must both watch and pray against sin. When under the correcting hand of the Lord, we must look to God himself for relief, not to any other. Our ways and our doings bring us into trouble, and we are beaten with a rod of our own making. What a poor thing is beauty! and what fools are those that are proud of it, when it will certainly, and may quickly, be consumed! The body of man is as a garment to the soul. In this garment sin has lodged a moth, which wears away, first the beauty, then the strength, and finally the substance of its parts. Whoever has watched the progress of a lingering distemper, or the work of time alone, in the human frame, will feel at once the force of this comparison, and that, surely every man is vanity. Afflictions are sent to stir up prayer. If they have that effect, we may hope that God will hear our prayer. The believer expects weariness and ill treatment on his way to heaven; but he shall not stay here long : walking with God by faith, he goes forward on his journey, not diverted from his course, nor cast down by the difficulties he meets. How blessed it is to sit loose from things here below, that while going home to our Father's house, we may use the world as not abusing it! May we always look for that city, whose Builder and Maker is God.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 39

  • Nana K. O.
    David in this chapter makes me understand that without the Lord,I am nothing.Because 100 year years before the Lord is not not even a day. Lord Jesus help me to know my days on earth.
  • John madden for verse 11
    God chastise,s. His people to keep us humble.and so that we can share in his holiness.it may seem hard but he chastens every son he recieves
  • The Lord is our hope psalms39:7 So we are waiting for that hope as per the scripture Phil 3:20.
  • Andrew
    Verse 4 5 one of my favourite verses I memorized. Always remind ourselves that we are as grass, and the best of us are as flowers. The grass withers away, and the flowers faded away. Anything that is looked at in the context of eternity is vanity.
  • It fits my mood today. For today I know that a dear sister is actually dying of the cancer that torments her in pain and agony. I cannot pray for her healing because I know that is only my selfishness I want my big sister around forever, and when she dies, I am the last of four siblings who all died young who remains alive. No, I must pray that God shows mercy through Christ Jesus that her passing may be painless and easy for her. That on passing she first sees our Grandma who cared for us as children and died way too young age 73 who will hold her to herself and let her know that, In Christ, all things are well. I pray that Eternity treats her better than this life did. In Jesus ' name I pray this. If you are reading this, I hope your prayers will join mine for my dearest sister Michelle. God grant her peace. Let my prayer come to your ears, O Lord, and give attention to my cry, make an answer to my weeping for my time here is short before you, and in a little time I will be gone, like all my fathers.
  • Ms. Darkimbong khaling for verse 11
    God is holy and He chastises us by secretly and insensibly consuming our desirable state to sensitize us to repent.
  • I first became aware of this "saying ", while studying for a college exam. Not knowing it 's origin. I interperted this as while I was wasting time, my energy and my creative ability were being ignored. Where life is passing by quickly, being spend in a useless manner. Where I 'm wasting my time on things that are not important and of no value. Here I am now, decades later looking up the meaning, and finding I was completely wrong in my interpertation.
  • Tina steven
    Oh how i love this book of the bible. Lord help me to know mine end that i may know how frail i am.
    With this i know i am nothing but a stranger just like my fathers.
    To be broken and use by my God. Praise the lord

View All Comments for Psalms Chapter 39...

What Do You Think of Psalms 39?

Share your own thoughts or commentary here...
Remaining characters: 400

Bible Trivia

When David wants to describe the length of his life, he compares his days to what?
  • Infinity
  • Ocean Depth
  • Earth Circumference
  • Redwood's Lifespan
  • Handbreadth