John T. Willis

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Desperate Prayer for Forgiveness--Psalm 39

All human beings struggle with serious concerns throughout life. The author of Psalm 39 faced two fundamental problems: (1) God was punishing him because of his sins; (2) he was old and knew that his life would end very soon. Any hearer or reader can detect the inner struggles which this psalmist faced. This psalm falls into two parts.

1. The psalmist must break his silence because his life is brief. 39:1--6.
    a. This poet tells his audience that he had determined not to say anything because if he said anything the wicked would distort his words. He does not want to sin with his tongue. 39:1.
    b. The psalmist tried to be silent and say nothing, but this did not work. So, he had to break the silence and proclaim his thoughts. 39:2-3.
    c. He turns to God for help. He asks God to let him know how fleeting his life is. His days are only a few handbreadths, and his lifetime is as nothing, a mere breath. Everyone on planet earth goes around as a shadow doing whatever they do for nothing. 39:4-6.

2. The psalmist beseeches God to deliver him from his sins. 39:7-13.
     a. The psalmist breaks down and openly declares that God alone is his hope. 39:7.
     b. The composer implores God to deliver him from his transgressions, because he has no intention to open his mouth and try to defend himself. He knows he is guilty. God has punished him, and now the psalmist beseeches him to remove this punishment. 39:8-10.
     c. The poet confesses that God chastise mortals because of their sins, so that all human beings are but a mere breath. 39:11.
     d. The poet implores God to hear his prayer of distress and confession of his sins. He confesses that on planet earth he is a passing guest, an alien.  He begs Yahweh to turn away his gaze of punishing him and let him smile again before he dies. 39:12-13.

Life is very brief, and all of us are sinners. We need to turn to God alone in hope that he will sustain us through life and forgive us of our sins.

Share YOUR experiences and shortcomings and reversals and successes and victories with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


Post a Comment

<< Home