Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. —Psalm 139:23–24
Psalm 139 has always intrigued me. I find it to be a magnificent prayer. It seems like a well that never runs dry. You can return to this prayer of David’s again and again and find spiritual refreshment and revelation for your life. There is an aspect of the prayer I find very interesting. David begins by stating, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” As he comes to the conclusion of the prayer in verse 23 and 24 he states, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
“Wait a minute,” he said, “You have searched me and know me.” Then he says, search me and know my heart.” David, are you contradicting yourself? I believe David’s closing entreaty gives to us the sincere prayer of his heart. God, I want to know me as you know me, therefore, “Search me!”
This is a prayer that calls for divine scrutiny. David is implying, “God, the truth is you are the only one who can hold me accountable. Lord, I want to be accountable to you. God pull back the layers and let me see my heart like you see it.” David wanted to handle the truth about himself. When we desire the truth from God concerning ourselves, we have reached a deeper level of spiritual maturity.
David reveals that such an answer to his prayer will require divine discipline. He then calls for God to test him. “Lord, examine me, even if it is painful.” It is our natural tendency to avoid pain at all cost. However, a right relationship with God may require a time of testing to reveal our anxiety so that we may grow in our faith and trust of God.
David seems to be calling for divine accuracy. He has suffered enough from the pain of sin and self-ego. He now calls for the laser accuracy of God to point out anything offensive to God, to himself and to others. “O what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
Finally, David calls for divine leadership for his life as he prays: “and lead me in the way everlasting.” David has reached a moment of truth in his life. He has become aware that knowing oneself by a pure light is not a false light. He wants his pathway to be eternal in all its ways so that all his ways are eternal. David has reached that place where he wants to move beyond forgiveness alone to heart purity. And this is what empowers Transforming Hearts…Transforming Lives!
O God, the words of David truly reveal to me the man after God’s own heart. Help me, O Lord, to find the will to pray such a sincere prayer that I may walk upright in your ways. Amen.
Rev. Claude Robold, Pastor New Covenant Church, Middletown/Franklin, Ohio
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