Summary: The purpose of this message is to show us the brevity of life and encourage us to pursue things of everlasting value.


Psalm 39:4-7


A. What are you planning on doing tomorrow?

1. How about next week?

2. Got plans for next month or even next year?

3. I ask these questions because we are prone to think that life is both predictable and controllable.

a. I doubt there is a teenager in this room that has given much thought to the end of life – they figure they have plenty of time: 50, 60, maybe even 70 years to go.

b. Not many 20 and 30 something’s have given it much thought, either: they are too busy with college, career, raising a family and earning a living, besides, they believe they still have plenty of time

c. Those who are approaching 50 and 60 have probably given it some thought, but, hey, what will be will be, and I still have plans for ….

d. I have not reached the 80’s, 90’s or 100 so I don’t know what they are thinking but I would imagine their thoughts turn to the end, a little more often and they probably wish they had done some things different.

4. Whether we want to think about it or not we need to understand the length of our lives is not guaranteed, at least not in this world.

5. James states, …ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

6. And the writer of Proverbs 27 gives us this admonishes us, Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Pro 27:1

B. How true. If you have been listening to the news lately you know there have been quite a few earthquakes.

1. While it is still to early in the year to see if we will go above average numbers, it seems we are hearing of quakes of greater magnitude

a. Jan 12, Haiti - 7.0 with approx. 230,000 dead (this is the second highest yearly death total in 40 years and we are just getting started)

b. Feb 27, Chili – 8.8 with 279 dead

c. Mar 8, Turkey – 6.0 with 51 dead, so far

2. I doubt any of the 230,330 who have died this year in quakes alone, went to bed thinking their time for living was over

3 My point is, life is unpredictable and death is not within our realm of control.

4. If we will do anything which has merit, it must be now.

5. I believe it was this realization that David was coming to grips with as he writes this 39th psalm.

C. It is to this end that I would like to look at just a few of his words found here, Psalm 39:4-7. Our outline will be as follows:

1. A contextual look at the Psalm

2. A personal look at the Psalm

3. May God open our eyes to the necessity of living for Him now while we still have the opportunity.


We begin by taking

I. A CONTEXTUAL LOOK AT PSALM 39, 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. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, 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. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. Hear 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. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more. WOW! Here was a man in a terrible way!

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