For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David
1 I decided, “I will watch what I say
and make sure I do not sin with my tongue.
I will put a muzzle over my mouth
while in the presence of an evil man.”
2 I was stone silent;
I held back the urge to speak.
My frustration grew;
3 my anxiety intensified.
As I thought about it, I became impatient.
Finally I spoke these words:
4 “O Lord, help me understand my mortality
and the brevity of life!
Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!
5 Look, you make my days short-lived,
and my life span is nothing from your perspective.
Surely all people, even those who seem secure, are nothing but vapour.
6 Surely people go through life as mere ghosts.
Surely they accumulate worthless wealth
without knowing who will eventually haul it away.”
7 But now, O Lord, upon what am I relying?
You are my only hope!
8 Deliver me from all my sins of rebellion!
Do not make me the object of fools’ insults!
9 I am silent and cannot open my mouth
because of what you have done.
10 Please stop wounding me!
You have almost beaten me to death!
11 You severely discipline people for their sins;
like a moth you slowly devour their strength.
Surely all people are a mere vapour. (Selah)
12 Hear my prayer, O Lord!
Listen to my cry for help!
Do not ignore my sobbing!
For I am dependent on you, like one residing outside his native land;
I am at your mercy, just as all my ancestors were.
13 Turn your angry gaze away from me, so I can be happy
before I pass away.