These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

Psalm 39: Facing Life's End

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Psalms.

Jane Walmsley, television correspondent and commentator on American life, says that an essential element of the American psyche is the fervent belief and hope that somehow it is possible to elude death. That hope of eluding death flies in the face of reality. No one has. Life this side of the Fall is 100 percent fatal. There are some, and David would be among them, who would say that only those who have faced their death can really live life properly. In this psalm he asks God to help him take a long-term view of life, and as you shall read, that includes the impending prospect of death.

Warming Up to God

While we can never quite get our minds around this, the good news is that an eternal God can offer eternal life. Express praise and thanksgiving to our immortal God.

Read Psalm 39

Discovering the Word

  • Remembering that the psalms combine life experience, knowledge of God and emotions, how would you describe David's mood and situation in this psalm?
  • David chooses to be silent in the presence of some hostile people. What effect does David's silence have on him in verses 1-6?
  • When David breaks his silence, he does so by offering a prayer to face his mortality. What does David know (vv. 5-6), and what does he want to know (v. 4)?
  • This is a psalm of judgment. In your own words describe God's approach toward sin in verses 7-13.
  • What does David desire from God for himself (vv. 8, 10)?
  • How does David seem to have come to terms with his death at the end of this passage?

Applying the Word

  • How does considering your own mortality affect the way you think of the present and the future, your possessions, and your relationships?
  • How does the knowledge of eternal life through Jesus Christ affect your reflections?

Responding in Prayer

Following David's example, ask God to help you see as much about your own mortality as you can handle. Sit quietly and wait for the Lord's insight. Write down what benefits you can perceive from facing your own death.

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