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Rhetorical Questions

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalms 39:7 NIV

Have you ever asked and answered the question to make a point? Writers and speakers often use this as a teaching device. The question arouses interest, and the answer emphasizes the point being made.

We must look at the proceeding text to see how this works with today's verse.

I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked." So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "Show me, Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. "Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. (v. 1-6)

David is struggling with how to respond to his antagonist. He has kept all this anger pent up rather than reacting rashly and saying things that can't be undone, but he also can't continue in anguish.

As gifted as David was, a talented musician, mighty warrior, esteemed military leader, and statesman, he recognized his limitations. David knows where his hope lay; it could come from only one place: the Lord.

Lord, we acknowledge that our hope is in you. We confess, too many times, we've tried to handle things ourselves and have failed. We have said unwise things, and we have taken rash actions. Forgive us those times. Grant us the wisdom to come to you humbly and earnestly in our times of anguish. Please give us the confidence to leave what we bring before your throne, trusting in your mercy and goodness. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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