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I Will Take Heed and Guard My Ways

  1. “I will take heed and guard my ways,” I said,
    “that I might keep my tongue away from sin;
    I with a muzzle watch and guard my mouth,
    when in the presence of the wicked men.”
  2. Silent and mute I stayed to no avail;
    I held my peace, and my distress increased.
    Hot was my heart, the fire burned as I mused;
    then, with my tongue I spoke my earnest plea:
  3. “LORD, make me know the end of all my days;
    teach me the measure of my fleeting life.
    You made my days a meager handbreath long;
    my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
  4. “Surely mankind stands as a fleeting breath!
    Surely a shadow, man walks to and fro!
    Surely for naught he toils to gather wealth.
    Who will inherit? He will never know.
  5. “And now, O Lord, what am I waiting for?
    I put my hope and trust in you alone.
    Save me from all my wickedness and sin.
    O make me not the scorn of foolish men.
  6. “I am a mute; I open not my mouth,
    Lord, for this work was done at your command.
    But now remove your stroke away from me;
    I waste away beneath your hostile hand.
  7. “When you rebuke and chasten those who sin,
    you, like a moth, consume their gathered wealth.
    Lord, your rebukes destroy all they hold dear;
    O surely all mankind is but a breath.
  8. “LORD, hear my pray’r, my cry; hold not your peace!
    Like all my fathers, I’m a stranger here.
    Look not in wrath, that I may smile again,
    ere I depart in death to be no more.”
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© 2018 Trinity Psalter Hymnal Joint Venture
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Scripture Reference
Psalm 39
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