Psalms for the Journey
We can rationalize or put a spin on any morsel of information or behavior these days. We humans are good at that. I think of the media, of course, when I think about this bad trait that we have, but we are all guilty of it from time to time. We want to avoid the conversation that we may have done something wrong, made someone feel small or behaved in a way that was not gracious and kind.
David comes to the end of his Psalm of repentance with words that began the song…”Investigate my life, O God”. He adds “Cross-examine me and test me” to the investigation. Why? Because we are so good at rationalizing! We will admit to some sin but maybe not all of it. God knows us better than we know ourselves. To cross examine in a court of law to find out the truth means to question (a witness called by the other party) in a court of law to discredit or undercut testimony already given. David is asking God to go deeper than what David knows and admits about himself. “God, cross examine my motives and thinking”, we seem to hear David pray. It is as if he is asking God to help him see what God sees in him…then “guide me on the road to eternal life.”
In other words, David closed with a prayer for God to search his heart, know his anxieties and concerns, forgive him, and lead him. We must be cautious as we examine ourselves because we do not even know our own hearts (Jer. 17:9). It is best to open the Word and let the Spirit search us and speak to us, for then we discover the truth. We must never dispute with God, for He loves us and wants only the very best for us.
Maybe our prayer should begin with the Cross. How do we measure up to the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross? Have we obeyed the teachings of Jesus? Are we will to live humbly, like Christ modeled while on earth, putting others ahead of ourselves? Are we willing to remain silent when others attack us and bring us low in this world? Are we willing to take up our own cross and follow Him no matter what? This is part of the “cross-examination”, too. Our debt of sin was paid on that Cross. We are no longer held responsible for sins confessed remorsefully. Live redeemed!
Psalm 139, The Message (Final passage)
23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
My prayer, dear Lord,
In Jesus Name, Amen
Questions for reflection as we finish Psalm 139…
How does this psalm depict God as knowing everything?
How does the fact that God knows you intimately affect you?
How does this psalm ask you to see your body and other people’s bodies?
Why does it make no sense to try to run from God but perfect sense to run to God?
Ask God to search you and know your heart. What is in your heart that He will see?