8 Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath. Psalm 39:8-11
Throughout these Psalms we see David having peaks and valleys, and often within the same verse! As he previously began to examine his life and the shortness of it, now he focuses on his sin. While he acknowledges his sin, he just doesn’t want to be scorned because of it. It seems like he wants to sin and skate free too. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint), sin has consequences. Some of those consequences are in real time as the sin occurs, and some are delayed.
I had a friend in Alaska who always said to me when asked how I could pray for him. “Save me from myself” was his standard answer. More than 25 years have passed and I continue to remember those words as if they were spoken yesterday. David, in essence, is praying that prayer. He knows himself all too well and wants to be delivered from it! Consider a similar passage in Romans 7 where Paul says the same thing:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20
Sometimes asking God to save us from ourselves is a very fitting prayer.