PSALM 39 (38)

I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will bridle my mouth, so long as the wicked are in my presence.” I was dumb and silent, I held my peace to no avail; my distress grew worse, my heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: “Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is! Behold, Thou hast made my life a few handbreaths, and my lifetime is as nothing in Thy sight. Surely every man stands as a breath! Surely man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nought are they in turmoil; man heaps up, and knows not who will gather! And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Make me not the scorn of the fool! I am dumb, I do not open my mouth; for it is Thee who hast done it. Remove Thy stroke from me; I am spent by the blows of Thy hand. When Thou dost chasten a man with rebukes for sin, Thou dost consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely every man is mere breath! Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not Thy peace at my tears! For I am Thy passing guest, a sojourner, like all my fathers. Look away from me, that I may know gladness, before I depart and be no more!”