The Courage to Look Carefully

17 Jan

Asking God to search our hearts is courageous . . . and necessary!

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.  Psalm 139:23-24

There are several things worthy of notice in the Psalmist’s appeal, in the words before us.

First, notice the Psalmist’s intrepidity. Here is a man determined to explore the recesses of his own heart. Did Bonaparte, did Nelson, did Wellington, ever propose to do this? Were all the renowned heroes of antiquity present, I would ask them all if they ever had courage to enter into their own hearts. David was a man of courage. When he slew a lion in the way, when he successfully encountered a bear, when he went out to meet the giant Goliath, he gave undoubted proofs of courage; but never did he display such signal intrepidity as when he determined to look into his own heart.

Secondly, notice the Psalmist’s integrity. He wished to know all his sins, that he might be delivered from them. As every individual must know his sins at some period, a wise man will seek to know them here, because the present is the only time in which to glorify God, by confessing, by renouncing, by overcoming them. One of the attributes of sin is to hide man from himself, to conceal his deformity, to prevent him from forming a just conception of his true condition.

Thirdly, notice the Psalmist’s wisdom. He presents his prayer to God himself. God is the only Being in the universe that knows himself — that peruses himself in his own light. In the same light he sees all other beings; and hence it follows that, if other beings see themselves truly, it must be in the light of God. ~ The Treasury of David

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