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39. Psalm 39

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.

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

3My 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.

5Behold, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

12Hear 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.

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

12 Hear my prayer, O Jehovah! David gradually increases his vehemence in prayer. He speaks first of prayer; in the second place, of crying; and in the third place, of tears This gradation is not a mere figure of rhetoric, which serves only to adorn the style, or to express the same thing in different language. This shows that David bewailed his condition sincerely, and from the bottom of his heart; and in this he has given us, by his own example, a rule for prayer. When he calls himself a stranger and a sojourner, he again shows how miserable his condition was; and he adds expressly, before God, not only because men are absent from God so long as they dwell in this world, but in the same sense in which he formerly said, My days are before thee as nothing; that is to say, God, without standing in need of any one to inform him, knows well enough that men have only a short journey to perform in this world, the end of which is soon reached, or that they remain only a short time in it, as those who are lodged in a house for pay. 7878     “Comme des gens qui sont logez en une maison par emprunt.” — Fr. The purport of the Psalmist’s discourse is, that God sees from heaven how miserable our condition would be, if he did not sustain us by his mercy.


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