Psalm 39

Psalm 39  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
David’s conduct towards Shimei can explain this Psalm also. He was dumb while the wicked were before him. He was accepting the punishment of his sin, bowing himself under the mighty hand of God in silence. His repentance, as in 2 Samuel 15-19 is a very affecting sight indeed.
The path of the soul in this Psalm is very blessed, and within the range of the experience of the saints at all times. It is to be traced thus—
Under provocation, the believer is resolved in God’s strength to be silent, though this at first stirred and kindled the sorrow within (Psalm 39:1-21<<To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.>> I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. 2I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. (Psalm 39:1‑2)). But the Spirit, in season, brought relief, and gave the file of spiritual affections in the soul increased and lively energy. For this is His way—if nature be restrained, the new kingdom will rise in power. So it was here. During the silence put upon nature, this warmth of the renewed heart is heated, and yields blessed fruit to this silence and mortification; for the lips are opened, not to revile again, nor to threaten those from whom he was suffering, but to commit himself to God, owning his own unworthiness, and taking all this suffering as from the hand of his gracious God for good (Psa. 39:3-113My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, 4Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. 5Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. 6Surely every man walketh in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. 7And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. 8Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. 9I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. 10Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. 11When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. (Psalm 39:3‑11)). His soul, by all this holy exercise, learns to see itself in heavenly companionship with God himself in this earth, and he only looks for strength to travel the rest of his pilgrim journey with increased alacrity and vigor (Psa. 39:12-1312Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 13O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more. (Psalm 39:12‑13)).
Shimei did the part of that injurious multitude who surrounded the blessed Sufferer before the Governor and on Calvary, reviling Him with their lips, and gnashing on Him with their teeth. Ahithophel was the Judas of those scenes in 2 Samuel. (See Psa. 109.)