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Search Me and Know Me

Recently I found myself spending a lot of time in a very small room with not much to look at. Plain white walls, a broken clock that always said 8:44 and a safe that I didn’t know the combination to, but it didn’t stop me guessing it! In the corner of the room was a bin. On top of the bin was a bright yellow sign with bold black letters that read ‘offensive waste’. My eyes kept being drawn to this bin and it reminded me of Psalm 139.

Search me, 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.Psalms 139:23-24 NIV

The first 18 verses of Psalm 139 are a beautiful description of how well God knows us, how precious we are to him and how much care, thought and attention he put into creating each of us within the womb. But He also knows all of our days outside the womb. 

The Psalm then takes a very different turn. All of a sudden David is saying how much he hates people who hate God. He wants God to ‘slay the wicked’ and speaks of how he counts such people as ‘his enemies’. This is very different language to the beginning of the Psalm. Has he had a sudden personality change?! Or decided he wasn’t such a fan of God’s amazing detail in creating each person? I don’t think so. 

I wonder if the closer we get to God the more we are offended by the things that offend him. The more we align ourselves with God’s will the more we see rebellion in others as something to be dealt with severely.

The important thing that David goes on to do, which brings us back to the offensive waste bin, is he asks God to search him and know his very heart. David is aware he is a human being with the natural tendency to sin. By asking God to search him and test his every thought he is saying to God, “I’ll find these people abhorrent because of how they behave towards you, but I want my actions to be guided by you, God.”

What would God find if we invited him to search us? What anxious thoughts would he begin to know? What offensive waste do we have in our hearts that God needs to throw away? After he has dealt with all that what would it look like for him to lead you in the way of everlasting life? 

You can listen to Psalm 139 set to music HERE

I also wanted to share verses 1-18 from the Passion translation of the Bible which has a particularly beautiful way of articulating the words: 

Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength. Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!   If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!   Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me. It’s impossible to disappear from you or to ask the darkness to hide me, for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.   There is no such thing as darkness with you. The night, to you, is as bright as the day; there’s no difference between the two.   You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.   I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord! You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something.   You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.   Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought! O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.

Psalm 139: 1- 18 (Passion Translation)

Shared by Rachel, Prayer Coordinator for the Inspire Movement

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