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39:1 I 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.
39:2 I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.
39:3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,
39:4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.
39:5 Behold, 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.
39:6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
39:8 Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.
39:9 I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.
39:10 Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.
39:11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.
39:12 Hear 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.
39:13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

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Everything King James Bible:Psalms
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 39

David meditates On Man's frailty. (1-6) He applies for Pardon
and deliverance. (7-13)

1-6 If an evil thought should arise in the mind, suppress it.
Watchfulness in the habit, is the Bridle upon the head;
watchfulness in acts, is the Hand upon the Bridle. When not able
to separate from wicked men, we should remember they will watch
our words, and turn them, if they can, to our disadvantage.
Sometimes it may be necessary to keep silence, even from good
words; but in general we are wrong when backward to engage in
edifying discourse. Impatience is a Sin that has its cause
within ourselves, and that is, musing; and its ill effects upon
ourselves, and that is No less than burning. In our greatest
health and prosperity, every Man is altogether vanity, he cannot
live long; he may die soon. This is an undoubted Truth, but we
are very unwilling to believe it. Therefore let us pray that God
would enlighten our minds By his Holy Spirit, and fill our
hearts with his Grace, that we may be ready for Death every Day
and Hour.

7-13 There is No solid satisfaction to be had in the Creature;
but it is to be found in the Lord, and in Communion with him; to
him we should be driven By our disappointments. If the world be
nothing but vanity, may God deliver us from having or seeking
our portion in it. When Creature-confidences fail, it is our
comfort that we have a God to go to, a God to trust in. We may
see a good God doing all, and ordering all events concerning us;
and a good Man, for that reason, says nothing against it. He
desires the pardoning of his Sin, and the preventing of his
shame. We must both watch and pray against Sin. When under the
correcting Hand of the Lord, we must look to God himself for
relief, not to any other. Our ways and our doings bring us into
trouble, and we are beaten with a rod of our own making. What a
Poor thing is beauty! and what fools are those that are proud of
it, when it will certainly, and may quickly, be consumed! The
body of Man is as a garment to the soul. In this garment Sin has
lodged a Moth, which wears away, first the beauty, then the
strength, and finally the substance of its parts. Whoever has
watched the progress of a lingering distemper, or the work of
time alone, in the human frame, will feel at once the force of
this comparison, and that, surely every Man is vanity.
Afflictions are sent to stir up Prayer. If they have that
effect, we may Hope that God will hear our Prayer. The believer
expects weariness and ill treatment On his way to Heaven; but he
shall not stay here long: walking with God By Faith, he goes
forward On his Journey, not diverted from his course, nor cast
down By the difficulties he meets. How blessed it is to sit
loose from things here below, that while going home to our
Father's House, we may use the world as not abusing it! May we
always look for that City, whose Builder and Maker is God.

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