To the director, Jeduthun.*
A song of David.
1 I said, “I will be careful about what I say.
I will not let my tongue cause me to sin.
I will keep my mouth closed†
when I am around wicked people.”
2 So I didn’t say anything.
I didn’t even say anything good,
but I became even more upset.
3 I was very angry,
and the more I thought about it, the angrier I became.
So I said something.
4 LORD, tell me, what will happen to me now?
Tell me, how long will I live?
Let me know how short my life really is.
5 You gave me only a short life.
Compared to you, my whole life is nothing.
The life of every human is like a cloud that quickly disappears.
Our life is like an image in a mirror.‡
We rush through life collecting things,
but we don’t know who will get them after we die.
7 So, Lord, what hope do I have?
You are my hope!
8 Save me from the bad things I did.
Don’t let me be treated like a fool.
9 I will not open my mouth.
I will not say anything.
You did what should have been done.
10 But please stop punishing me.
You will destroy me if you do not stop.
11 You punish people for doing wrong to teach them the right way to live.
As a moth destroys cloth, you destroy what people love.
Yes, our lives are like a small cloud that quickly disappears.
12 LORD, hear my prayer!
Listen to the words I cry to you.
Look at my tears.
I am only a traveler passing through this life with you.
Like all my ancestors, I will live here only a short time.§
Leave me alone*
and let me be happy
before I am dead and gone.