For the worship leader, Jeduthun.[a] A song of David.
As an individual lament, Psalm 39 grieves over the brevity of life. The superscription recalls David’s appointment of Jeduthun as one of the tabernacle’s leading musicians (1 Chronicles 16:41–42).
1 I promised, “I’ll be careful on life’s journey not to sin with my words; I’ll seal my lips when wicked people are around.” 2 I kept my mouth shut; I had nothing to say—not even anything good— which came to grieve me more and more. 3 I felt my heart become hot inside me as I thought on these things; a fire ignited and burned. Then I said,
4 “Eternal One, let me understand my end and how brief my earthly existence is; help me realize my life is fleeting. 5 You have determined the length of my days, and my life is nothing compared to You. Even the longest life is only a breath.”
6 In truth, each of us journeys through life like a shadow. We busy ourselves accomplishing nothing, piling up assets we can never keep; We can’t even know who will end up with those things.
7 In light of all this, Lord, what am I really waiting for? You are my hope. 8 Keep me from all the wrong I would do; don’t let the foolish laugh at me. 9 I am quiet; I keep my mouth closed because this has come from You. 10 Take Your curse from me; I can’t endure Your punishment.
11 You discipline us for our sins. Like a moth, You consume everything we treasure; it’s evident we are merely a breath.
12 Hear me, O Eternal One; listen to my pleading, and don’t ignore my tears Because I am estranged from You— a wanderer like my fathers before me. 13 Look away from me so I might have a chance to recover my joy and smile again before I lay this life down and am no more.
1 I waited a long time for the Eternal; He finally knelt down to hear me. He listened to my weak and whispered cry. 2 He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me out To set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again. 3 As if that were not enough, because of Him my mind is clearing up. Now I have a new song to sing— a song of praise to the One who saved me. Because of what He’s done, many people will see and come to trust in the Eternal.
4 Surely those who trust the Eternal— who don’t trust in proud, powerful people Or in people who care little for reality, chasing false gods— surely they are happy, as I have become. 5 You have done so many wonderful things, had so many tender thoughts toward us, Eternal my God, that go on and on, ever increasing. Who can compare with You?
6 Sacrifices and offerings are not what You want, but You’ve opened my ears,[a]and now I understand. Burnt offerings and sin offerings are not what please You. 7 So I said, “See, I have come to do Your will, as it is inscribed of me in the scroll. 8 I am pleased to live how You want, my God. Your law is etched into my heart and my soul.”
9 I have encouraged Your people with the message of righteousness, in Your great assembly (look and see), I haven’t kept quiet about these things; You know this, Eternal One. 10 I have not kept Your righteousness to myself, sealed up in the secret places of my heart; instead, I boldly tell others how You save and how loyal You are. I haven’t been shy to talk about Your love, nor have I been afraid to tell Your truth before the great assembly of Your people.
11 Please, Eternal One, don’t hold back Your kind ways from me. I need Your strong love and truth to stand watch over me and keep me from harm. 12 Right now I can’t see because I am surrounded by troubles; my sins and shortcomings have caught up to me, so I am swimming in darkness. Like the hairs on my head, there are too many to count, so my heart deserts me.
13 O Eternal One, please rescue me. O Eternal One, hurry; I need Your help. 14 May those who are trying to destroy me be humiliated and ashamed instead; May those who want to ruin my reputation be cut off and embarrassed. 15 May those who try to catch me off guard, those who look at me and say, “Aha, we’ve trapped you,” be caught in their own shame instead.
16 But may all who look for You discover true joy and happiness in You; May those who cherish how You save them always say, “O Eternal One, You are great and are first in our hearts.” 17 Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much, but I know the Lord is thinking of me. You are my help; only You can save me, my True God. Please hurry.
40:6Greek manuscripts read, “but You have prepared a body for me.”
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