“If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 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.”
After looking at the source of our being, the wonder of our being, the plan for our being, and the joy of our being now we come to:
- The Inventory of our Being (v. 19-24)
As we get to verse 19 through 22 there is a sudden change that almost seems so contrary to the spirit of this passage and causes us to wonder where in the world did that come from? But upon deeper inspection it actually becomes not that difficult to understand. After reviewing how great God is, and remembering how much he appreciates Him, David realizes that not everyone feels that way about God. Some people actually despise God, they blaspheme Him and want no part of Him. They actually go as far as to oppose Him and His people. This truth bothers David and this is the reason why he takes this turn in the Psalm. What is interesting to note is that these feelings of hatred that David has for the enemies of God actually causes David to become introspective. Many of us get angry and we let that anger keep us externally focused. But this introspection caused David to conclude the Psalm by asking God to take inventory of his life. Why do we need times of introspection, because most of what is deep down inside of us is not visible to us. A large part of who we are, what we are like, and what is going on inside of us, is not seen by others and can even be hidden from us. We don’t always know why we do the things we do, think the things we do, or why we say the things we do. Sometimes our motives are less than pure, the problem is that we have learned how to look good instead of be good. We know how to spin it and play the right cards so that we look right. If we are not careful we can deceive ourselves. What we need is to bring in some outside help that can give us an honest evaluation and show us if there is anything hiding in our hearts. What about you are you willing to let God take inventory and bring those problem areas to light so you can deal with them? The business that takes no inventory finally goes bankrupt. There are many people who are on the brink of bankruptcy because they haven’t taken inventory of their lives. So when was the last time you asked God to take a thorough inventory of your life? This is what David is asking God to do in his life in verses 23 through 24. We need times where we pause long enough to look inside and take inventory of our life. The problem is that many of us are living such fast paced lives that we never stop to evaluate until the wheels come off and we are forced to stop short or have a wreck. When it comes to inspecting we need God’s help to sift through and separate the pure from the putrid. David cried out to God, “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.” David took time to ask God to help Him take stock so that he could see where he was at. There is a great story about a boy named Jimmy who stopped at the neighborhood store and asked the owner if he could use the telephone. Given permission, he began to make his call. The owner couldn’t help but overhear his end of the conversation which went something like this, “Hello, Mr. Brown? I was just wondering if you needed someone to mow your lawn for you. Oh… you already have someone? Is he doing a good job? He is? Are you sure you don’t want to hire someone else? Well, thank you. Good bye!” When he was done with the phone call, the owner of the store said, “Oh, Jimmy, I’m sorry you weren’t able to get the job.” Jimmy replied, “Oh, don’t worry. I already work for Mr. Brown. I was just checking up on myself!” All of us need to do this from time to time, to check up on ourselves. We don’t need to call Mr. Brown we need to call the Lord and ask Him, “Lord, how am I doing? What’s deep down in my heart that might displease you? Is there any sin lingering in my soul that might bring dishonor to your name? Are there any ugly things in my life that I haven’t dealt with? We don’t always understand ourselves and so we need God’s help. Are you willing to humble yourself and ask for God’s help as David does here in Psalm 139? Are you willing to pray this prayer with David? “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.” This is us asking the Lord to bring to mind those things that bring pain, pain to Him, pain to others, pain to ourselves. So that we can not only acknowledge it as sin and turn from it. It is asking God to help us understand our own heart, so that we can grow in God’s likeness, and reflect His holiness. David’s desire is to walk in the everlasting way, that is the way of righteousness which has eternal value. The way of truth that counts forever. David despised the ungodly because they had no devotion for God, and he doesn’t want to fall into the same pit as them.He doesn’t want to be falsely pious he wants to be pure. If we are not careful we can quickly become just like those that we despise. Are you willing to let God expose all those thoughts and attitudes, feelings, ambitions, desires, and motives? God is not going to get devotion from the godless people mentioned in verses 19-22. The question is, Will He get it from us? This is the thought that confronts us as we conclude Psalm 139 today. How do we hold up the mirror of self-reflection? By getting into God’s Word, because scripture is the searchlight that exposes the true thoughts and intents of our hearts. Let God use His Word to change you so that He cultivates within you His holiness, so that when the world sees you they see Jesus. I want to challenge you to take sometime today to do some soul searching. Invite God to inspect your life so that He can reveal what is ripe and what is rotten.