Daily Readings & Thought for March 18th. “SEARCH ME O GOD, AND KNOW MY HEART”
Today’s readings.. (Leviticus 26), (Psalm 137-139), (Luke 9)
Do you, do I, want God to really “know my heart”? The concluding words of David’s Psalm 139 are some of the most challenging in Scripture. It seems obvious that David wrote it when he had formed a most intimate relationship with God, he declares, “How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” [v.17,18]
David’s meditations in this Psalm are most meaningful, he had a sense of really being “with God” and God, with him. How intensely personal is his closing appeal to the Almighty, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” But that leading by God comes at a price – the surrender of self, of our human inclinations – to God’s leading.
David surely knew what Moses wrote at God’s direction, we read it today in Leviticus ch. 26. The first 13 verses list all the blessings to come on the nation if they will truly serve their God who has delivered them from slavery in Egypt. “I will make my dwelling among you,” says God, “I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.” [v.11,12]
David was leading the people to do this – he would have fallen asleep in death convinced that his son Solomon would complete what he had begun in making the nation, God’s people. His Psalm explains a vital underlying factor in serving God, that, observing God’s laws, must be followed by an attitude of heart and mind that achieves a personal relationship with God.
Sadly, the rest of Leviticus 26, which details the actions of God when there is a failure to obey his laws, came terribly true for most who journeyed to the promised land under Moses..
Our awareness – of the light and darkness of the paths of life – is vital for our eternal health: they are excellently summed up in the words of Jesus in the last verse of our Luke (ch.9) reading. “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Our innermost thoughts as we prayerfully read God’s word each day will keep us looking forward.