Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, September 15, 2013

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The psalmist resolves to take heed to his ways and thoughts. He asks to know the length of his days, musing on the brevity of life.

Instinctively most people realize that many of their problems are direct results of talking too much when they shouldn’t. It’s human to filling time with meaningless babble. It’s human to speculate and comment about things which are none of our business. It’s human to tell the “truth” about someone when no one needs to know the details of another’s failures. James 3:2, 3 warns us that the tongue is as wild and heedless as an unbroken horse. David, sensing how helpless he is to curb his tongue, has been afraid to say anything, even what needs to be said. He “bridles” his tongue; however, silence doesn’t solve the problem, for his heart burns with unspoken complaints—and yet praise to God. In desperation he cries out for forgiveness for foolish talk and willful behavior and asks for God to open his mouth and control what he says.

Psalm 39 helps us see how foolish we are to be absorbed with matters which will last for only a short time. Forgiveness is at hand. God wants us to ask for it. He wants to bring all our conflicts under control. David asks the question in verse 7: “What am I waiting for? My hope is in You!”

Prayer:  Father, like all men and women since Eden, I create conflict and then don’t know what to do about it. Help me to admit my folly and accept correction, knowing that I cannot make a mess that is too big for You to clean up. Help me in the future to know when to speak and what to speak. Life is too short to be wasted in repeating the same sins over and over again. Amen.

Helen Pyke
Retired Professor
Southern Adventist University