Psalm Thirty-Nine

PSALM THIRTY-NINE

 

(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)

A Prayer for Forgiveness

 

1 I told myself, “I’ll take care 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, and I hurt

Much worse; 3 I felt a fire that burned

 

Inside me, and the more I thought,

The more it burned, until at last

I said: 4 “Please, Lord, show me my future.

 

Will I be gone soon? 5 You’ve made my

Life short, so brief the time means

Nothing to you. A human life

 

Is but a breath, and like a shadow

It vanishes; 6 our struggles are

Senseless; we store up more and more,

 

Not ever knowing who will get

It all. 7 What am I waiting for?

Lord, I depend on you; 8 save me

 

From my own sins; don’t let fools sneer

At me.9 You treated me like this,

And I kept silent, never saying

 

A word;10 won’t you stop punishing

Me? For you’ve worn me down.11 You harshly

Punish us for our sins, and you

 

Consume our wealth like it is but

A moth; we’re but a breath; 12 hear, Lord,

My prayer. And hear my cry for help;

 

Do not be deaf when I cry out;

I pray to you: My eyes pour tears;

I’m but a stranger visiting

 

Your home the way my ancestors

Did, 13 so stop being mad at me

And let me smile again before

 

I’m dead and go to you, O Lord.”

 

 

God made male and female