Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

6 Search me and Show me – Part 1

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Psalm 139:1-6; 23-24

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 139 ends with a plea, a call for God to search us and show us our hearts, to point out the putrid and lead us to purity. But we will never ask the Almighty to search and show us our hearts if we don’t trust Him. That’s why David starts by reminding us that:

  • God knows us completely (1-6)

When you think about being loved there are always two things present. Right now I want you to take a moment and think about a time in your life when you felt truly loved. May be by a parent, a friend, your spouse or a time when you felt truly loved by God. Whatever it was as you think back on that time you when you were loved what do you see, what made you feel loved? While the circumstances in these love moments differ for each of us there are at least two common and cherished golden threads woven into the fabric of each one. We were known, more than just on a surface level but on a deeper level and second we were accepted. Despite what they knew they still chose to love us and remain committed to us. In order for love to be complete we must be both known and accepted. Because to be accepted without being known is foolish, while to be known but not be accepted is fearful. When it comes to being known and accepted there is no one who knows us more thoroughly and accepts us more completely than our Creator. Psalm 139:1-6 tells us that God knows us completely, all of our actions, words, and thoughts. Not only does God know what we have done but He knows why we did it. The sad reality is that while most of us say we believe that God knows for many this is just a head knowledge not a heart knowing. As a result we end up operating on two levels. While we say that we believe that God knows everything about us, on a practical day-to-day level we actually live as if we can keep secrets from God. This is probably because we are fearful that if God really knew everything about us, He would reject not receive us. When it comes to God many of us have an intellectual understanding instead of an interpersonal one, head knowledge not a heart knowing. Verse 1 reminds us that God knows us because He searches us: “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me” The Hebrew here means to carefully examine or explore. It carries the idea of digging into the details and uncovering what is unseen. God is not satisfied with a surface knowing He searches deeper to discover what is below the surface. David is saying that God knows him penetratingly because He has peered deep into his life. Verses 2-5 tell us exactly what God knows about us:

  1. He knows what we do

Verse 2 says: “You know when I sit and when I rise…” God knows not only when we sit down but also when we stand up. These two opposites of sitting and standing represent all of our actions throughout the day. In other words God knows all of our actions as Proverbs 5:21 says: “For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths.” We have a God who knows every move that we make. Not only does He know what we do but:

  1. He knows what we think

Verse 2 continues by saying: “You perceive my thoughts from afar.” This means that God knows what we think even before we think it! Just as Jeremiah 17:10 says: “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind…” God knows what we are thinking, He doesn’t just search He sees and yet He still loves us anyway. Not only does He know what we do and think but:

  1. He knows where we go

Verse 3 says: “You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” This word “discern” means to sift as one would do to get the grain. We have a God knows where we go because He can sift and see what is really going on. As God sifts through the sand of our life He knows the good and the bad. He sees it all even those things we think are done in secrete. Not only does God know what we do, what we think and where we go but:

  1. He knows what we say

Verse 4 says: “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” We have a God who not only hears everything that we say but He also knows what we’re going to say before we can even form the words with our tongue. Sometimes we don’t even know what is going to come out of our mouth until we say it, but God knows. Not only does God know what we do, what we think, where we go and what we say but:

  1. He knows what we need

Verse 5 says: “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” It’s here as David describes God’s powerful hand of protection that he uses some imagery from war. David was a warrior and he knew all about strategic battle plans and how to surround a city. David understood that he was surrounded by God’s secure knowledge and understanding. Instead of feeling trapped by God’s knowledge of his every thought, word, and deed David felt secure. He knew that God surrounded, that God went before and behind and it was God’s hand that kept him from harm. The same is true for us God’s pervasive presence serves to protect and provide not inhibit our lives. David also finds the truth that God knows him intimately incomprehensible as he says in verse 6: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” David struggles to comprehend God’s understanding let alone describe the depth of God’s personal knowledge of every area of his life: His every action, every thought, every trip, every word, and every need. When we ponder the greatness of God’s knowledge, like David we too will become overwhelmed. Wonder and worship go hand in hand, for they are the proper response to God’s glory and greatness. Amazement should lead us to awe, which should draw us to adoration. This was Paul’s response in Romans 11:33-36: “Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” Take some time today to ponder the greatness of God, and then take time to thank Him for His lavish love. Instead of being worried and concerned over God’s omniscience be comforted, because you have a God who not only knows you but loves you.

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