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 39:1-2). 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. 39:3-11). 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. 39:12-13).
This suits us all; and blessed is the soul of any saint thus healthfully exercised. We should know these paths of the Spirit better than we do. Thus will the repentant Israel of the latter day accept the punishment of their sin (Lev. 26:40). So, in silence, did Jesus receive our chastisement. (Isaiah 53:7; Matt. 26:63; see Psa. 38.)
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.)