Psalm 39 reveals the brevity of life and brings us face to face with the fact that each person’s days on this earth are fleeting.
Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how transient I am.
Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but a mere breath. Selah
Surely every man walks about like a shadow;
Surely they busy themselves in vain;
He heaps up riches,
And does not know who will gather them.
And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.
Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
I was mute, I did not open my mouth,
Because it was You who did it.
Remove Your plague from me;
I am consumed by the blow of Your hand.
When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity,
You make his beauty melt away like a moth;
Surely every man is vapor. Selah (Psalm 39:4-11)
The psalmist writes, how transient I am (39:4). He describes his days as handbreadths, his lifetime as nothing before You...., a mere breath....a shadow (Psalm 39:5). Therefore, his hope is not in himself or in the things of this world. His hope is in God (39:7) who holds the world in His hands. God is sovereign. Whatever has been done, God has done it (39:9). He is the primary cause of all things, including everything that comes into my brief life and yours. Therefore, our hope is in Him.
What do you hope for? We all have earthly hopes for ourselves and our families: a safe and secure home, good health, a good education, a good job. But you must realize that one day all these things will be meaningless. In the end, those are dead hopes because they are terminal. This brief life will be over and then what will become of your eternal soul? When Job had lost his children, his livelihood, his servants, his home, his health, and his wife’s respect, he did not place his hope in having those things restored. He placed his hope in God (Job 13:15). God is the God of hope (Romans 15:13). What do you hope for? Is it a hope of which you can be certain?
Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am a stranger with You,
A sojourner, as all my fathers were.
Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength,
Before I go away and am no more. (Psalm 39:12-13)
The psalmist expresses that those who place their hope in God are strangers and sojourners on the earth (39:12). God’s people hope in something beyond this life. They desire a better country, that is a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:13). Those with earthbound hopes will find their hopes to be nothing in the end -- dead hopes. But those who hope in God have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3); it is a hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2), a hope centered in Christ (Ephesians 1:2), a hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8), a hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7), and a hope of experiencing the fullness of God’s grace when Christ comes again (1 Peter 1:13). It is a sure and steadfast hope, an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19). It is my hope and I pray it is yours.
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.