Ps 39:4 NKJV "Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.
Psalm 39 finds David pondering the meaning of his life. It is one thing to wax philosophic about what life means in a general sense. It is an entirely different exercise to say “Lord, make me to know my end....”.
In that request, I don’t think David is just asking for the expiration date on his birth certificate. I think he’s asking God, “Unto what end am I living? Knowing my frailty and the limited number of days I have on earth, what am I to do?”
It’s a valid question, and one we’ve all asked in some form or another. If you look around, you’ll see that people live their lives with a number of different ends in mind.
Some live for the goal of fame. Their ultimate goal would be for their name to be known across the world. This has never been particularly noble in itself, although in past days it certainly was more difficult. Our you-tube culture is increasingly making fame accessible for many and therefore essentially useless as a marker of meaning. If everyone is famous for fifteen minutes, does it matter if you’re famous at all?
Others live for the goal of finances. The three car garage and the house in the Hamptons are not a new trend - they’re just modern markers of an age old condition. In the Psalm, David goes on to write that people bustle about in vain, heaping up wealth and not knowing who will get it. Indeed, the largest fortune in the world will insure nothing more than quality nursing home care. Is that the end you want to live to?
In Christian circles, we often talk about living for impact. While it is noble to desire to make a difference in peoples’ lives, living for impact can easily depreciate into some sort of strange Sunday School contest, where even the lives we impact are counted like notches on a belt. Living for impact is often measured in terms of “more impact than someone else...”.
David sees the vanity in living for fame, finances or even impact, and finally lands in this place...
Ps 39:7 "And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.”
David lived with that end in mind - the pleasure of the Lord and the purpose of eternity. Nothing else will satisfy, and when the end of your days arrives, nothing else will matter.