Daily Readings and Thought for March 18th. “SEARCH ME O GOD AND KNOW MY HEARTo


Thinking upon our quote in Psalm 139 today brought to mind a conversation I had with the late Bro. David Caudery who recounted a picture from his childhood in Britain during WW2.. “I remember searchlights as a boy.  Beams of light would sweep across the sky from near where I lived.  They were searching for enemy planes, if they found one they would lock on to it and the gunners would try to shoot it down.  Anti-aircraft gunners were right near the house of my wife Fran (I did not know her then), it was a test of faith and her mother had a very firm faith and this gave “peace of mind” to her two children”. 

And so we were reminded of this by our reading of Psalm 139 today. “Oh LORD you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up … you search out my path”  [v. 1-3].  But the Psalmist David realises that God’s power to “search” and to “see” extends far beyond what we do physically.  He writes, “you discern my thoughts from afar … even before a word is on my tongue …” [v.4]   

Young people today would describe as ‘awesome’  the thought that God knows our thoughts before we even put them into words.  That really is a searchlight on the mind.  We cannot limit the meaning to David personally, it applies to all who believe they have a relationship with God as David knew he did.  There is even more than this! David has an inspired perception of God’s all-embracing creative work!  We read, “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 … your eyes saw my unformed substance.” [v.13,14,16].

Today, clever men have unravelled most of the secrets of DNA and the human genome.  So how remarkable it is that David was inspired to write 3,000 years ago about his “unformed substance”, that is, his DNA.   

    Finally, note how the word ‘search’ occurs again at the climax of the Psalm, 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.” [v.23,24]

As we look back on our lives do we recognise the times when God tested and tried us?  Do I, do you, fear to sense God’s searchlight on our thoughts? He does not “search” to shoot us down, but all of us have had times when we needed to be redirected.  We are straying off course and need to adjust our direction; or even abruptly halted in our tracks as happened to David on one occasion. Some have ignored God’s efforts to redirect them – to their prospect of “the way everlasting” in grave danger.  It was a heart-wrenching experience for David. We all want God to lead us “in the way everlasting” and his searching our hearts – is part of that leading but so many are not conscious enough of this.  Are you?

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