Much about God’s infinite knowledge makes us feel peaceful and comfortable. But there are other parts of God’s knowledge that make us feel vulnerable and nervous. David realized this and at the end of Psalm 139, he calls on God to bring on all of his knowledge, even though it meant he would be an open book to the eyes of God.
We all like to keep secrets. From childhood into adulthood, we love when a friend comes to us and says, “I have a secret to tell you.” We get so excited and start wondering what it could be. So many different things go through our minds. We even start to make guesses and even before we hear the secret, we think we know it. After we hear the secret, it is so fun to keep the secret because you know something not many other people know. Children and teenagers keep secrets from their parents because they don’t want to get into trouble. Secrets make us feel safe because we are able to hide something about ourselves from others.
But with God, there are no secrets. We can’t hide anything from him. We can’t escape him. He always knows. He’s always there. This part of God’s knowledge can make us uncomfortable because every time we sin, before anyone else knows, God knows. How does it make you feel that God knows your heart so well? It could cause you to never pray to God, because you are afraid to be that open to him. Or, like David, it could be a way for you to see your sin more clearly and put it to death.
After praising God for his amazing knowledge, David finishes his psalm by calling God to bring it on: “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!” Do you see what David is saying here? Because God knows all things and knows him so personally, he wants more of him, not less. He is basically saying, “Please, God. Oh, please know me like you do.” God’s deep knowledge of David was going to be the way he better understands his sin so he can flee from it.
Sin is hiding deep in our hearts and slowly but surely ruining our lives. The effects of sin are much like the process of weight gain. You know stuffing your face with cheeseburgers, fries, and Mountain Dew is unhealthy, but you don’t see the effects immediately. But over time, you lose energy and gain weight. One day the person you see in the mirror and the number you see on the scale is unrecognizable. Not that I have any personal experience with this or anything!
Sometimes it is hard for us to see sin in our hearts. We see it when it’s too late. So, we need better vision. We need someone with eyes to see to show us our sin before it harms us. God is the only one with vision like this. Only he can see our hearts like this. Ask God to search out your heart. When God knows your heart best, you will know it better. Learn to hate sin in your life so much that you beg God show you where your heart is wrong, so you can run to Christ, the only one who can lead you in the way everlasting!
The ultimate practical question for us as we move forward into a new day is:
Do we hate sin and love God to the degree that we would be moved to ask the Lord of infinite knowledge and wisdom to probe our hearts and point out the things in our lives that grieve him?
Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is a M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.