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PSALM 139:23-24

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

God, Help Me To Know Me

Pastor Rodney L. Evans, Sr.
 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

If we examine our acts we discover little. If we examine our thoughts and motives we discover much. If we ask ourselves what we regard as sin and what we excuse, we discover our real selves If we find that our motives are bad, we cannot escape blame, at least in the privacy of our own conscience.

Our pride, our insecurities, and our enemies all combine to shield us from such knowledge. Yet it would be of great folly to regard self-examination as a negative thing. It is the first truly positive act of our spiritual lives.

The majority of us is never going to know genuine happiness unless we conduct a searching examination into ourselves, see and acknowledge our evils, and begin to turn away from them. If we don’t, those evils will go on living inside of us.

It is a mistake to consider self-examination as a negative, frightening, or threatening thing.

All self-examination must be carried out with the clear, sensitive awareness that the Lord Jesus Christ is present, and listening, and guiding the process.

That is one of the great messages of the 139Psalm. It is a prelude to self-examination.

In this Psalm David understood the OMNI’S or “ALL OF GOD” 

OMNISCIENCE (:1-6).

1. Definition

Again, the term “omniscience” It is a compound of Omni, meaning “all,” and science, meaning“Knowledge.” In other words, God is infinite in regard to knowledge. He knows Himself and all other things perfectly, whether they be actual or merely possible, throughout all of time.

  1. So, if God has perfect knowledge, He has no need to learn.
  2. Such perfect knowledge implies that God has never learned and, in fact, cannot learn.
  3. Thus, God does not need to reason toward His conclusions or ponder carefully over His answers.

Isaiah writes: (Isaiah 40:13-14)

Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?

  1. The Lord watches all of Mankind and considers everything they do (Psalm 33:13-15).
  2. His eyes are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good (Proverbs 15:3).
  3. Each person’s attitudes, behavior and choices are in full view of God (Proverbs 5:21).
  4. No thought, action, desire or motive can be hidden from Him – (Psalm 139:1-4)

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

(Psalm 139:1-4) 

OMNIPRESENCE (:7-12)

1. Definition

The term “omnipresence” It is a compound of Omni, meaning “all,” and presence, meaning“Here” Thus, God is always here, close to everything, next to everyone.1 This means that God is unlimited with respect to space and time.

  1. He fills heaven and earth and no-one can hide from Him. There are no secret places where He is excluded (Jeremiah 23:23-24).
  2. Let’s look at Psalms 139:7-10 – Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

OMNIPOTENCE (:13-16).

1. Definition

As with the other Omni terms, “omnipotence” It is a compound of Omni, meaning “all,” andpotency, meaning “Power.” Omnipotence implies the possession of all power, and unlimited power.

His power is unlimited in regard to both its extent and its magnitude. What is impossible for man is possible for God (Matthew 19:26). Nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17).  

Psalm 139:23-24 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Let’s look at the four request that David made to God and why it would be beneficial for us to do the same.

I. “SEARCH ME” [v. 23] we often make the mistake of measuring our goodness by others rather than God and as a result we become more like the Pharisee than the Publican. Luke 18:9-14

A. The Request.

He’s asking God to, in the most literal meaning, examine him closely. As one who desired to be pleasing to God in all ways and at all times, he did not try to hide from God, for he understood that it was not possible.

  1. All Things Open To Him. Even though we may try to hide our deeds from God and serve Him with hypocrisy, He knows our hearts and our evil deeds cannot be hidden from Him. All things are open to Him.
  2. Ananias and Sapphira told no one of their intent to hold back a portion of the proceeds of their land being sold, but God knew! They lied to God, though they tried to hide it from Him!

B. Why do we need God to search us?

1. Because of our Own Limited Ability. We often have a “blind spot” to our own faults.

a. The beam in our own eye. [Matt. 7:3-5]

b. Sometimes lacking one thing. [Matt. 19:20-22] The rich young ruler}

II. “TRY ME” [v. 23]

A. The Request.

He wanted God to prove him – or put him to the test refine him – to do what must be done to ensure he was pure.

1. Sometimes Through Trials. (1st Pet. 1:67) Though it may not have seemed like it at the time, those trials helped to refine them and make them more precious in the sight of God.

2. Sometimes Through His Chastening. (Heb. 12:7-11) When we are chastened, it does not seem – at the time – to be pleasant; but in the end it yields the fruit of righteousness, it is “for our profit.”

B. The Purpose.

1. Our Limited Ability. We are unable to bring our self to spiritual purity and righteousness. This is where we need God’s help. David realized this and desired That God do what he himself cannot do. Metals, when taken from the earth, are impure, and they cannot and do not purify themselves.

a. Righteousness not of self. [Rom. 3:2122]

b. Through Jesus Christ. [2nd Cor. 5:21]

III. “REVEAL ME” [v. 24]

A. The Request.

See if there was any wickedness in him.

  1. His Desire was To Please God. David desired to be cleansed from secret faults (Psa. 19:12). He wanted God to look into his life and reveal those hidden sins and hurtful ways that they might be removed. He didn’t want anything to hinder his relationship with God.
  2. Idols of the Heart. The things that we worship or put before God will become our idols.
    1. a.     Cars
    2. b.     Houses
    3. c.     Jobs
    4. d.     Education
    5. e.     Money

B. The Purpose.

1. To See Himself Honestly. One of our greatest faults is to overlook our own faults. Sometimes we just do not see that what we have done is an offense or, more importantly, a transgression of God’s will.

a. We cannot hold onto some sin in our life and expect to be pleasing to God.

b. One of the best things we may do for ourselves if we desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord is to know ourselves.

IV. “LEAD ME” [v. 24]

A. The Request.

The psalmist now gets to the heart of his desire in that he desires to be led by the Lord. He knows and he understands that if he wants to walk in the paths of righteousness, it is only by following the way of the Lord that it could be done. This way is not just any way; it is “the way everlasting.”

1. Humble Submission Required. Nine times within the Psalms do we read of his desire to be led by the Lord; He knew who should lead and whose duty it was to follow. Being a man after God’s own heart, he knew the right way was not within him if he desired eternal life.

2. We Are Ignorant. [Psa. 143:8] Man himself cannot find the way to salvation –“the way everlasting” – without God’s revelation. The psalmist asks God to “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk.”

B. The Purpose.

1. He Desired Salvation. That desire led him to request the assistance of the Lord in guiding him in the right way that he might accomplish that goal of eternal life. The psalmist, of all men, knew the Lord and the strength of His being, and says in another of the psalms: “Be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. For you are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.” (Psa. 31:23)

2. He Recognized His Own Inability. He needed to go to the originator of the promise, the giver of life, the source of salvation. Who better to ask than the One who provides that which we desire? When we seek to establish our own ways, we will always fall short and will never please Him. Without Him, we are without the light of knowledge and, as Jesus said: “he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.” (John 12:35)