And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Rescue me from my rebellion, for even fools mock me when I rebel. I am silent before you; I won't say a word. For my punishment is from you. Please, don't punish me anymore! I am exhausted by the blows from your hand. When you discipline people for their sins, their lives can be crushed like the life of a moth. Human existence is as frail as breath. Psalm 39: 7-11 NLT
Hope in God but don't please, God, don't punish me anymore? What kind of language is this? What is going on here? Do I really want to hope in a God who punishes by spanking or hitting me?
Breaking down these verses, I see first that the psalmist's only hope is in God. Their hope is not in other people nor in themselves. I am good with that although I know my own weakness of hoping in people alone.
The second thing I see is that the psalmist asks for God's rescue from rebellion. Is this rebellion against other people or God? Certainly, the psalmist says he is silent before God. I think the prayer is that God keeps him on the straight and narrow. The request is that the psalmist does not stray or rebel against God by saying anything, either to other people or to God.
The third point is that the only punishment to fear is punishment from God. Others might mock or even physically hurt you but God is the one who can really punish for sins.
The good news for us is that Jesus has taken this punishment for us. God still disciplines but does not punish. Jesus took that for us.
Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims