(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)
A Prayer for Forgiveness
39 I told myself, “I’ll be careful not to sin by what I say, and I’ll muzzle my mouth when evil people are near.” 2 I kept completely silent, but it did no good,[a] and I hurt even worse.
3 I felt a fire burning inside, and the more I thought, the more it burned, until at last I said: 4 “Please, Lord, show me my future. Will I soon be gone? 5 You made my life short, so brief that the time means nothing to you.
“Human life is but a breath, 6 and it disappears like a shadow. Our struggles are senseless; we store up more and more, without ever knowing who will get it all.
7 “What am I waiting for? I depend on you, Lord! 8 Save me from my sins. Don’t let fools sneer at me. 9 You treated me like this, and I kept silent, not saying a word.
10 “Won’t you stop punishing me? You have worn me down. 11 You punish us severely because of our sins. Like a moth, you destroy what we treasure most. We are as frail as a breath.
12 “Listen, Lord, to my prayer! My eyes are flooded with tears, as I pray to you. I am merely a stranger visiting in your home as my ancestors did. 13 Stop being angry with me and let me smile again before I am dead and gone.”
39.2but. . . good: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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