Peter Barnes | Psalm 39
SERMON NOTES: VAPOUR BEFORE THE ETERNAL I AM (Psalm 39)
It is not that weak men are vapours before the eternal God; all men are.
- Control our tongues before the world.
– 39:1-3. In verse 2 the NIV says that David was silent, ‘not even saying anything good’, and the NKJV says something similar, but we will stick with the ESV’s ‘to no avail’. Do you know when you are in a dangerous spiritual condition?
– Psalm 141:3 but see 39:1. Like Psalm 73:13-15. From here on, the Psalm is a prayer.
- Realise the brevity of life.
– 39:4-6. Eric Lane says that this is a death wish. Not so, it is the sober realisation that we will all die.
– Gregory of Nazianzus: ‘We are a fleeting dream, an apparition without substance, the flight of a bird that passes, a ship that leaves no trace on the sea. We are dust, a vapour, the morning dew, a flower growing but a moment and withering in a moment.’
– Edmund Burke: ‘What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue.’
- Plea to God for mercy.
– 39:7-11, 12-13. For verse 13, see Luke 5:8.
– Know when to control your tongue; realise the great truths about this brief life; and pray for mercy and forgiveness.