“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” – Psalm 139:1
I’ve heard this example told in several different forms (and you probably have to), so you can just skip all of this if you’ve heard it before. Suppose a documentary company tells you they’d like to follow you around and film your activities for one day and then create a DVD for you as a keepsake. They follow you around as you head off to work or school, and as you interact with your family and friends. You don’t think much of it, and probably think it’s kind of neat to have this to look back on at some point.
Then at the end of the project, the documentary company informs you that instead of filming your activities, they’ve actually been recording your thought life that day. Not only that, they’ve already sent the film to YouTube, Netflix, Blockbuster, you name it – and pretty soon everyone you know (and everyone you don’t) can watch this video. Everything that’s gone through your mind that day will now be in full view for everyone to see.
How would that make you feel ?
That’s what comes to mind for me when I read Psalm 139. I’ve been focusing on this great Psalm of David for the past few days and always stop for a bit on the very first verse. “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” I confess this is both comforting and frightening at the same time. God of course knows what I’m thinking about and the things I’m struggling with – but what an embarrassment it would be if everyone else knew it !
But of course, I’ve got it backwards. Instead, what Psalm 139 points me to is the real focus of what to be concerned about and what to live towards – what does God think ? After all, he knows it all anyway. As verse 12 says “The night is bright as the day” to Him. And He’s known it from the beginning – “Your eyes saw my unformed substance” (verse 16). As I mentioned to Micey on her blog the other day, this is a very difficult Psalm to pray and really “mean” it. Think about verse 23- “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” . Might be easy to say, but tough to bring that attitude to God every single day.
Today, I’m just struggling with this Psalm….and struggling with disappointing my Father knowing the things that go through my mind each day that don’t bring honor to Him. He has searched me and knows my heart. I love David’s heart for God, and spend a lot of time in his Psalms. Like David, I’m a great sinner. Unlike David however, I have miles to go to be a great repenter.