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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #140
Posted: January 19,2008

PSALM 39:1-3

Let us begin our study this week of Psalm 39.  Many believe this was a continuance of Psalm 38 where David remembered the past.  The Bible title for the Psalm is ‘To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David’. Jeduthun was the chief singer, director, and instructor of music in the temple.  David has written the words and now brings them in for Jeduthun to add the music that will fine-tune it to the hearts of God’s people. In verses 5-6 the little word ‘vanity’ or ‘vain’ is used three times showing us David’s state of mind.  The word means empty, useless, chasing the wind, or chasing bubbles.  David feels like much of his recent life has been spent chasing the wind and not panting after the Lord.

            Let us look as verses 1-3 which says, “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,”

            I have called this section “David’s Pondering”.  The phrase “I said,” in verse 1 and the word ‘musing’ in verse 3 gives us the core thought of pondering.  We see that while thinking in David’s heart he is talking to himself.  Great things can often be accomplished while talking to ones self.

            I notice in verse 1a there is the ‘Pondering Of His Ways’.  David says to himself “I will take heed to my ways,” The word means to hedge around, to guard, to protect, and mark with a narrow look.  O let us take a look at our ways. Let us be careful that our ways are ‘His’ ways.  Isaiah said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way…” Solomon said in Proverbs, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the way of death.” Let us trust and acknowledge Him in all our ways. “Unguarded ways are generally unholy ways.” (Spurgeon)

            I look next at the ‘Pondering Of His Words’.  One of the ways that David wants to take heed to is especially in the way of his ‘tongue’.  David said, ‘I want to make sure I don’t sin with my tongue. I want to keep my tongue muzzled while I am in the midst of the wicked.  Why is David so concerned about taking heed to this area?  James said, ‘the tongue is a little member set on fire of hell.’  If one can control his tongue the same is a perfect man.  Let us lay heavy stress on the Bible prayer, ‘Lord, set a guard over my lips and keep the door of my mouth.

            In verses 2-3 I see the ‘Pondering Of His Witness’.  David said in verse 2 that he was ‘dumb’ and held his ‘peace’.  The words have the idea of being silent with the tongue-tied.  Let us be sure there is a time when it is best to say nothing at all.  Our Lord used this principle when on trial for His life. The problem in our text is that David was silent and dumb “…even from good;” Spurgeon said, “When we use our tongue wrongly it is a sin of commission but when we fail to use our tongue for God it is a sin of omission.”  We must take heed to not only what we say but also what we don’t say.  We must be led of the Spirit of discernment to know when to say a word in season.

            David’s silence for good stirred a fire of sorrow in his heart. (Vs. 2a-3)  While thinking upon the plight of the wicked verses his own plight his mouth is opened and pours forth his thoughts unto the Lord. O how it is a necessity to pour out our thoughts rather good or bad toward our Lord and not to a friend, co-worker, neighbor, or mate.  He is the one who has said cast all your care upon me for I care for you. He is not shocked by our thoughts that come forth from our mouths in prayer.  Why, He is the one who said, ‘I know your thoughts from afar’.