International Standard Version
To the Director: To Jeduthun. A Davidic Psalm.
A Prayer about Life’s Priorities
39 I told myself, “I will keep watch over my tongue to keep from sinning.
I will muzzle my mouth when the wicked are around.”
2 I was as silent as a mute person;
I said nothing, not even something good,
and my distress deepened.
3 My heart within me became incensed;[a]
as I thought about it, the fire burned.
Then I[b] spoke out:
4 “Lord, let me know how my life ends,[c]
and the standard by which you will measure[d] my days, whatever it is!
Then I will know how transient my life is.
5 Look, you have made my life span fit in your hand;
It is nothing compared to yours.
Surely every person at their best is a puff of wind.
6 In fact, people walk around as shadows.
Surely, they busy themselves for nothing,
heaping up possessions but not knowing who will get them.
7 How long, Lord, will I wait expectantly?
I have placed my hope in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions,
and do not let fools scorn me.”
9 I remain silent;
I do not open my mouth,
for you are the one who acted.
10 Stop scourging me,
since I have been crushed by your heavy hand.
11 You rebuke by chastening a man with the consequence of iniquities;
you destroy what is attractive to him, as one would treat a moth.
Indeed, every person is a puff of wind.
12 Hear my prayer, Lord,
pay attention to my cry,
and do not ignore my tears.
I am an alien in your presence,
a stranger just like my ancestors were.
13 Stop looking at me with chastisement,[e] so I can smile again,
before I depart and am no more.