Well, I hope we have decided that we will sit in God’s witness chair and let Him have free reign and ask whatever question He wants. And we have decided we are going to give Him all the answers He requires into the depths with which he needs. The questions will undoubtedly be tough and probing and quite rigorous. This questioning will by no means be comfortable – nor is it ever meant to be so for our sakes. Who knows how long we’ll be sitting there, how many questions we will be barraged by? But we have chosen to stay seated in the witness seat.
The question is … Why should we willingly stay seated for such in-depth times.
Psalm 139:23-24 New Revised Standard Version
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Psalm 139 begins with David’s acknowledgement that God has “examined” his heart. The Lord knows everything about him (Ps. 139:1). Nothing about David or his life can be hidden from God, who knows even what David will say before he says it (Ps. 139:4). If he tried to escape from the Lord, in every place God would be present (Ps. 139:7-13). In fact, God knew David even in his mother’s womb as he knit him together wonderfully (Ps. 139:13-16).
The first eighteen verses of Psalm 139 celebrate the Lord’s intimate knowledge of David. Verse 19 changes the subject abruptly: “O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers!” (Ps. 139:19). It’s as if the memory of those who sought David’s life interrupted his celebration of God’s presence and filled his heart with a sudden rush, hatred for his enemies.
Then Psalm 139 takes another unexpected turn, concluding with a prayer for the Lord to examine David’s heart: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Ps. 139:23-24). Perhaps David realized that his hatred exceeded an appropriate zeal for justice, love for God.
Perhaps he remembered that, like his enemies, he himself had done things that badly dishonored the Lord. So, he invited God to search him and reveal anything offensive. “Put me in your witness chair! O God of my salvation!!!” The implied understanding is that David would repent of those sins in order that God might “examine [him] lead [him] along the path of everlasting life” (Ps. 139:24).
With a reluctant heart I confess I need God to search me in this way. Don’t you? Though a part of me resists dealing with what is wrong in my heart, I know that I need to see my sin as God sees it, so that I might confess and be forgiven, and so that I might find hope, turn from my sin to follow the Lord more completely.
The great unknown from sitting in His witness chair. How does God reveal my sin to me? In many ways: through reading Scripture, through hearing the Word of God preached, through the challenging love of friends, and through the still small voice of the Spirit. In asking God to search me, I am inviting him also to open my heart so that I might receive the conviction of his Spirit. I am saying, “Go ahead! Point out anything in me that offends you, and I will listen to you!”
David’s “disquieting thoughts” are those thoughts that caused him to become troubled, or anxious. Again, the challenge is whether we are at peace with our thought life. When the light of God’s truth is shone upon our lives, do we or do we not squirm and hide, or do we or do we not stand up with confidence? Do we or do we not want our sin to be illuminated by our Heavenly Father, so He might lead us away from that path to the eternal path? Or do we or do we not want to hide our sin away from God, and protect it from the Lord’s cleansing grace?
The challenge of Psalm 139? We need to be willing to let go of all that disquiets us–every sinful thought, desire, and motive. Our chief desire is not only to have a blameless reputation before men, but more importantly, to have a character that glorifies God in its reflection of His goodness and purity. This requires us exposing ourselves to His refining fire, allowing Him to search out our hearts and draw out of us the remaining sin in our lives. It won’t be pleasant, but it’s necessary if we are to be sanctified and useful unto the Lord in His kingdom.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
Can I really be ready? Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to thee ….
Search my heart, O God! Take my life and let it be, consecrated unto thee ….
Ask any question, O God! Take my life and let it be, consecrated unto thee ….
Ask all questions, O God! Take my life and let it be, consecrated unto thee ….
I am fearful an anxious but, go right on ahead and ask your questions anyway!
Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to thee ….
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
2. Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
every power as thou shalt choose.
3. Take my will, and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.
Take your place upon God’s witness stand …. contemplate His questions ….
Have there been times in your life when God has revealed things to you that were hard, but essential, for you to hear? What helps you to attend to the all- convicting voice of God’s Spirit? Are you ready for God to point out anything in your life that offends him? What might help you to get ready, if you’re not?
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us pray,
O Lord my God, my eternal Father, thank you that you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Help me to trust in what is unseen. Remind me of the truth of your power, that you surround me, and you are fighting for me. Never give up on me! Give me favor and breakthrough in my life. You are the Sovereign King of all ages, immortal, invisible, the only wise God. To you be honor and glory forever and ever. Through Jesus Christ, our Savior, Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.