Psalm 39 - Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

To the leader: to Jeduthun.

A Psalm of David.


I said, “I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will keep a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.” I was silent and still; I held my peace to no avail; my distress grew worse, my heart became hot within me. While I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:


“Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight. Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. Selah Surely everyone goes about like a shadow. Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; they heap up, and do not know who will gather.


“And now, O Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool. I am silent; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. 10 Remove your stroke from me; I am worn down by the blows[a] of your hand.


11 “You chastise mortals in punishment for sin, consuming like a moth what is dear to them; surely everyone is a mere breath. Selah


12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not hold your peace at my tears. For I am your passing guest, an alien, like all my forebears. 13 Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more.”


Footnotes

a. Psalm 39:10 Heb hostility


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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