Sunday, February 01, 2009

A cryptic psalm

I wanted to read a psalm today and the number 39 just popped into my head. I played along and I read it but ended up puzzled.

Psalm 39 was one of the most cryptic psalm I have read and reading it again and again trying to make some sense out of it did not help.

Isn't it quite like life we have here? Try as we might to make some sense out of the madness we are in, we ended up even more perplexed.
Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath.
~ Psalm 39:5

Turn Your gaze away from me,
that I may smile again
Before I depart and am no more.
~ Psalm 39:13


  1. hallo
    why so serious...Be of good His gaze is upon us all the time!

  2. I think David (or inserted author) is lamenting the brevity of life.

    I think you can't read vs 5 without vs 4.

    The author wants to know how to quantify his days here on earth. How short/long it is so he can place value in them.

    I 13, the 'gaze' should be translated 'judgement'. It is more like the all-knowing mother who is disaproving of your lifestyle. Rather than berate your, she 'gazes' at you and allows your own guilt to eat at you.

    I think he is saying 'Hey GOD!' cut me some slack! My time on earth is short enough (hence vs. 4-6).

    God Bless

  3. Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for the insight on "gaze" -- yup, translated as judgement it would make sense.

    Yeah, I would think one could not read the whole psalm in just the verses, the whole psalm stands as one -- I just quoted the 2 verses to show an example how enigmatic the psalm is.

    But I like your summary! You kinda got to the point without the fanfare - 'Hey GOD!' cut me some slack! My time on earth is short enough! :) but I guess in our right composure, we don't quite talk to God like that, do we? Though in certain circumstances, we do, and God is gracious enough to answer, "Yes, child. What exactly do you want me do?"