Bible IndexContentsHome...Saved?..Pray...Free...Bible...Shop...Learn...Worship...U.S.B.S...Contact UsProverbs 29Proverbs 30Proverbs 31

Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 39

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The First Book of Psalms (c 1-41)
Message: An Empty Life Apart from God (v 1-13)

Psalms 39 Commentary

(39:1-3) Keeping Our Tounge From Sin - David resolved to keep his tongue from sin; that is, he decided not to complain to other people about God's treatment of him. David certainly had reason to complain. He was the anointed king of Israel but had to wait many years before taking the throne. Then one of his sons tried to kill him and become king instead. But when David could not keep still any longer, he took his complaints directly to God. We all have complaints about our jobs, money, relationships, and many other situations, but complaining to others might make them think that God cannot take care of us. It may also look as if we are blaming God for our troubles. Instead, like David, we should bring our complaints directly to God. He can take it. 

(39:4) Life is Short - Life is short no matter how long we live. If we have something important we want to do, we must not put it off for a better day. Ask yourself, If I had only six months to live, what would I do? Tell someone that you love him or her? Deal with an undisciplined area in your life? Tell someone about Jesus? Because life is short, don't neglect what is truly important. 

(39:5-6) The Brevity of Life -The brevity of life is a theme throughout the books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Jesus also spoke about it (Luke 12:20). Ironically, many people spend much time securing their lives on earth but give little or no thought to where they will spend eternity. David realized that amassing riches and busily accomplishing worldly tasks would make no difference in eternity. Few people understand that their only hope is ultimately in the Lord. The answer to the question of the meaning of life cannot be found in this world or made up ourselves. (For other verses on the brevity of life, see Ecclesiastes 2:18 and James 4:14.) 

(39:10) The Blow of His Hand - What did David mean when he asked God to stop punishing him with "the blow" of his hand? This is likely a picture of the difficulties or sickness David was facing that made him feel as though he were being struck. Evidently David thought God was disciplining him, punishing him for his sins. David was expressing his feelings to God, yet he also submitted himself to the discipline of his powerful and loving heavenly Father. 

(39:12) Travelers Passing Through - David rightly recognized that all of us are guests on this earth -travelers passing through-- because our ultimate home is on the new earth (heaven) with God for eternity. This perspective should change the way we live. How temporary our present lives are! But while our time here is short, the effects of what we do can be eternal.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Investing Our Lives

Each day, we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 39. In our text today, we see a theme of how life is fleeting and empty apart from God. What caught my eye is how David realized that life is brief. The Bible explains life as a vapor - here today and gone tomorrow. In making application, many of us believe that we will live forever and death will never come to our lives, but as we get older, we see that life is so short. Many of us spend our lives instead of investing our lives in others. A life invested in Christ is fulfilling and rewarding, as the Lord will bless your faithfulness in the afterlife. How about you? Are you investing your life in others or spending your life on yourself? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that our days are numbered, so let us be wise to choose the fulfilling path of life as we invest our lives in others.


Psalm 39

Psalm 39

 1I 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,

 4LORD, 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.