Psalm 39

Reflections on the Transience of Life: Seeking God's Perspective



Psalm 39 is a contemplation on the brevity of life and the pursuit of wisdom and righteousness. As we delve into this Psalm through the lens of the New Covenant and the teachings of Jesus Christ, we gain deeper insights into the value of life, the significance of our actions, and the need for dependence on God's guidance.

Section 1: Contemplating the Transience of Life (1-6)

"1 I said, 'I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.' 2 So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; 3 my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue..."

Talking Points:

Cross Reference: Matthew 15:18, "But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them."


Section 2: The Transience of Life and the Pursuit of Wisdom (4-6)

"4 'Show me, LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. 6 Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.'"

Talking Points:

Cross Reference: Matthew 6:20, "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."


Section 3: Seeking God's Help and Trusting in His Deliverance (7-13)

"7 But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. 8 Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools... 12 'Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were... 13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.'"

Talking Points:

Cross Reference: Romans 10:11, "As Scripture says, 'Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.'"



Psalm 39, viewed through the lens of the New Covenant in Christ, is a powerful contemplation on the brevity of life and the need for God's mercy, themes that come to fruition in Jesus Christ.

The psalmist's realization of life's transience and his confession of sin foreshadow the urgency of repentance and faith in Christ, who offers eternal life (John 3:16) and forgiveness (Acts 10:43).

David's plea to God, "Hear my prayer, O LORD...I am a stranger with You," resonates with our alienation due to sin and our need for reconciliation, which is accomplished through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

The expression of hope at the end of the psalm, "Deliver me from all my transgressions," points toward the hope and deliverance we have in Christ, who bore our transgressions on the cross (Isaiah 53:5).

Psalm 39 is a poignant reflection on human fragility and sinfulness, and our need for the saving and transforming power of Jesus Christ.