Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
139 O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“It’s not just that God knows everything, He knows me. It’s not just hat God is everywhere, He is everywhere with me. It’s not just that God created everything, He created me.”David Guzik
God is extremely personal with each of us. Simply consider this fact. The God who spoke the Word and it was; The one who flung stars into space and divided the rivers; The God who rules with justice and fairness as many a kingdom rises and falls; the One who sees each sparrow drop, knows the numbers of hairs on our heads – is intensely personal with each of us. From the heights to the depths our God is with us.
What an honor! What a glorious thought of the God of all is so intensely interested in me. In you. In the broken the proud, the wayward and the faithful – there is nothing our God does not see, does not move on and is still keyed into our existence as He mourns for us, leads us through circumstances to bring our return, rejoices with us and revels in our praise.
As David penned, “You know my sitting down and my rising up” this phrase captures that God knew everything about him, even the most ordinary everyday things. Every casual thing about our lives it is noted by Him. But not only this, He knows our thoughts. Words before spoken He knows. Nothing is hidden from our God.
We are the object of His affection. He sees us for who we are. His places his hedge of protection around the faithful. He pursues us when we wander. There is nowhere we can go to escape. Yes, even in the darkness He sees us. And He works in our hearts – always.
With these thoughts of this glorious Psalm which captures the magnificent aspects of God, let us do as David wrote:
“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.”
Psalm 139 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Consider the fruit of knowing God and acknowledging that He knows us.
Before pursuing God, we pursued our own ways. Selfish ambition forms a mirage as we fool ourselves into thinking God is not with us and not watching over us. Maybe we even decide He doesn’t exist. When we do this, our behavior is affected. If we really believe that God can’t possibly know us or be watching us, then it doesn’t matter what we do. We might as well live how we want, gratifying our flesh and filling our lives with temporary pleasures.
But, this is not true. Dating back to the beginning of time, God clearly made Himself known to man. When thinking this way, this psalm becomes a powerful weapon in shaking us from our egocentric attitude. When we read it, we are reminded that God is always present and always watching. He is searching hearts and minds while testing our faith. He is boldly leading those who follow Him. He has placed His Spirit within us.
In the monotony of a typical day, it is easy to lose track of this truth. It’s natural to turn to control and power to comfort ourselves. Our flesh thinks it can somehow “have our cake and eat it too” with regard to attitude and behavior. This is simply not true. The spirit and the flesh are at war every day. When we are reminded that we serve the Creator who is over all things past, present, and future, the world suddenly is not about us – it’s about Him. Furthermore, this God who is far above us places His image upon us and searches through our mess to impact the world for His glory. We become His children and willingly submit to His searching and knowing. Does this describe you? Are you in joyful submission to His searching and knowing?
If we meditate on this psalm, we will quickly get put in our place. And that’s not a bad thing.