Psalm 39

Sorry again to be skipping Romans, but I thought it would be better to post a Psalm than nothing at all. Louis is too sick to do the Bible Study with me, his stomach bug turned into a chest cold from being in front of the fan so much. Please be praying for all three of us to be healthy. We have a kids’ day camp at the center this weekend that we will be helping out at.

Overview

    David continues to lament over the punishment for his sin. He tries to stay silent, waiting on the Lord, but he burned inside until he had to speak. He asks God to remind him of how fleeting he is, and then does remember. He shares about how the Lord holds our lives and it is nothing as compared with the length of God’s life. Mankind is merely a breath, we have no control over even the legacy we leave behind. He again asks the Lord to deliver him from these consequences of his sin, that he might not be scorned by fools. The punishment of God consumes, and reminds me of the fire that will burn away all our impurities. David seeks the Lord to listen and bring peace, to turn his punishment away. He is reminded that he is merely a sojourner here and that he and all before him are guests on Earth, which I think is a great visual.

I can relate to this situation. I know that I messed up and have to handle the consequences, but it is hard to suffer, even when we deserve it. So, I cry out again asking God to save me. And God listens. In our consequences for sin we can draw near to Him. He does not stand far off watching, but is right there with us. By seeking forgiveness we are back in relationship with Him, stronger than ever.

Characters

David—the Psalmist, the Lord, all mankind, the fool, my fathers

Key Verse

Verse 12 “”Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.”

Cross References

Psalm 102:1 “Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you!”

Psalm 119:19 “I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!”

Leviticus 25:23 “”The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.”

1 Chronicles 29:15 “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.”

Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

Genesis 47:9 “And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.””

Conclusion

    Just as Jesus, we do not have a place to lay our heads here. There is something more our hearts long for, Heaven. And that legacy we want to build up is to draw others toward God as well. How sad to only have this earth and what you do here and store up here be your legacy. We want the eternal things. This makes it even more necessary to live godly lives so that we can be a light to those around us. Many look at Christians as fools, mock them, persecute them, etc. As the 1 Peter verse says, in the end we want them to be forced to glorify God because we were living right lives before them, even though they mocked. This is much of what David talks about suffering, too, the wounds of those who wrongfully accuse.

Jesus in the Psalm

    “Psalm 39 is the cry of one who suddenly feels the futility and shortness of his own time on earth. Indeed, the fall in Genesis 3 did introduce a futility and frustration into our earthly lives. In the gospel, however, we are promised that this earthly life is not all we have. Rather, those united to Christ stand to inherit the entire world (Matt. 5:5; 25:34; 1 Cor. 3:21). Here and now, we are “sojourners,” strangers (Ps. 39:12). But it will not always be so.”*

Genesis 3:16-23 “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.”

Matthew 5:3,5, 8-10 “”Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth…”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 “So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

Tomorrow: Psalm 40

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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