Search me, God, and know my heart. Psalm 139:23
My grandchildren are running around my backyard. Playing games? No, pulling weeds. “Pulling them up by the roots!” the youngest says, showing me a hefty prize. Her delight as we tackled weeds that day was how much we enjoyed plucking the weedy roots—clearing away each pesky menace. Before the joy, however, came the choice to go after them.
Intentional weeding is also the first step in removing personal sin. Thus, David prayed: “Search me, God, and know my heart. . . . See if there is any offensive way in me” (Psalm 139:23–24).
What a wise approach, to go after our sin by asking God to show it to us. He above all knows everything about us. “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me,” wrote the psalmist. “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” (vv. 1–2).
“Such knowledge,” David added, “is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (v. 6). Even before a sin takes root, therefore, God can alert us to the danger. He knows our “landscape.” So when a sneaky sinful attitude tries to take root, He’s first to know and point it out.
“Where can I go from your Spirit,” wrote David. “Where can I flee from your presence?” (v. 7). May we closely follow our Savior to higher ground!
When you ask God to search your heart, what personal wrongs do you discover? How does intentional “weeding” help rid you of a relentless sin?
Loving God, when You show me my personal sin, point me to Your plan to pull those weeds.
In the Bible we read of God’s omniscience—His knowledge of everything. In 1 Samuel 2:3, Hannah declares that He’s the “God who knows.” In Psalm 44:21, the psalmist says “he knows the secrets of the heart.”
In Psalm 139, David marvels that God knows his every move and thought (vv. 1–4). Yet instead of trembling with fear, David’s awestruck at the thought that God has such intimate knowledge of him (v. 6). Why? Because David has a close relationship with God—he loves and is loved by Him. As a result, he can ask God to search his heart and, if he’s found wanting, to lead him down the right path (vv. 23–24). Our all-seeing and all-knowing God “searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9).