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:
4 “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere hand breadth; 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.
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.
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.”
I believe David opens this psalm with the thought of how he was going to live a blameless life. Living a blameless life is different from living a life of perfection. It is not sin or wickedness that keeps us from God, but our desire not to follow God’s ways. As I focus on David’s life I realized that it was only in the events surrounding the case of Uriah the Hittite (I King 15:5) that David turned aside from following God’s ways. However, to most people it was this one event that they associate and judge David’s life. However, in studying the psalms I realize that this event was the only black mark that God placed on David’s life. This is a key factor in studying David’s life. By studying his life and his writings in the book of Psalms I believe we can be transformed into a vessel that can be used by God.
The first three verses start out with David’s desire to watch his ways and keep his tongue from sin. In these verses he was in the presence of others who were wicked, and he was probably observing them carrying out evil activities. His actions, he was silent and still, yet his angry increased as he meditated on the actions that he was observing. David’s desire was to guard himself from sin by watching his ways and not speaking. This silent caused his heart to burn forcing him to speak.
In verses four through six David does a self-examination of himself and mankind. Our life is short, and we can’t even know the end. We can make our plans and build the desires of our hearts, but in reality, we do not have control of them. Then at death we even lose all control of the works of our hands.
In verse seven David states “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you”. Here he realizes that the only hope he had was is in the Lord. As we live our live, as Christians our values are not the same as the world’s values. We live in world in which we must be politically correct if we want no conflict with the world. And yet when we live this life we are in conflict with the way of God. Our hope then must be in God for if I must make a choose, I chose God’s way.
Yet we live in this world. We too are sinners just as all the people who we associate with daily. Sometimes in our life it is God’s judgment on us that causes the discomfort we are experiencing. Verses twelve and thirteen, “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. Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more.” is verses that I don’t understand completely. Yet, if this was written at the time he was running and hiding from Saul then he probably did feel he was a stranger from God and that that the promise of him being the future king made him an alien from the kingdom were God was King.
As I look back on my life, I reflect on the many dreams I had and how many never came to light. My life’s direction has changed so many times, and yet as I look back I must thank God for being there to make these changes happen for my growth. To walk with God, one must stay in His Word. And this daily (yes it must be daily) story of his word, the Holy Spirit will guide us and direct us in our walk with God.