Where do we put our Hope? (Psalm 39)
A. Let’s re-engage with the Lord in conversation
1. Our hearts cannot remain silent (0-3)
0 For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1 I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
2 But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased.
3 My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
2. “Death” that we should truly fear
4 “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. <Selah>
6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
(Ecclesiastes)1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
3 What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
B. Let’s put our hope in the Lord
1. Nothing brings us more despair than putting our hope in hopeless things (7-9)
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.
9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this.
(Ecclesiastes)12:1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”–
2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;
(Ecclesiastes)12:30 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man.
2. Drawing ourselves near to the Lord (10-13)
10 Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth– each man is but a breath. <Selah>
12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were.
13 Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more.”
In our various human relationships, there are many things we do to experience trust, security, and satisfaction, but unless we are deeply rooted in our one-on-one relationship with God, we cannot hope to gain those things in our relationships with others. Let us put our hope in God and build relationships that are rooted in his love.
1. Why was the psalmist silent?
2. Does the Lord strike us with his hand?