Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 139:23-24:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
One day during my long career as a high school student, I decided to Google the name of my science teacher. Why, I know not. Apparently, I had a lot of time to kill back then. Oh, for those days! Anyway, so I typed in his name and hit “Enter.” What popped up made my jaw drop. There in plain sight was an article reading, “Man Shoots Wife.” And my teacher’s name was listed as the murderer! Oh, the horror! Who was his next victim? Why had he been hired at my school? What was that the smell I noticed coming out of the science cabinet? Gasp!
But then I read the rest of the article title: “Man Shoots Wife…Then Turns the Gun on Himself.” Well, unless my teacher was a member of the walking dead, he was most certainly not this same guy! Phew! I told him about it the next day, and he only laughed. My high school mind decided it would be best not to accuse my science teacher of murdering his wife…or of being a zombie.
Interesting things like this pop up whenever you search someone. Back in the old days, investigations of these types required Holmes-like private eyes, dedicated for weeks and months to exhaustive research on a person or case. But today, all it requires is WiFi. You’re out of business, my dear Watson! Anyone can type in a name on Google and find out many things about a person. Go ahead. Try it. Type in the name of your friend, your spouse, or your roommate. You may find things you didn’t know. You may find things you didn’t want to know.
Our verse today is a prayer: “Search me, O God!” This word search has the idea of investigating, finding out, examining. The Psalmist was calling on God to do a thorough examination of his heart and thoughts—literally, “anxious or disquieting thoughts.” You might be half-tempted to put it in really modern vernacular: “Google me, O God!” No, that doesn’t quite cover the word. It goes way beyond even the intrusiveness of the Internet. The Psalmist wants God to do a full audit of his life. A thorough background check. A deep search into the very recesses of his being. Why?
To “see if there is any wicked way in me.” To see if I’m doing anything wrong. To pull every skeleton out of the closet and address every elephant in the room. This word wicked is literally painful. “God, search me for any harmful way! Anything that causes pain.” Pain to Who? Well, pain to God. Anything that causes “grief” to His Spirit. Like a wife searching her husband’s Internet history and finding pornographic sites or emails from another woman. Imagine the pains he feels. The betrayal. Magnify that by infinity times infinity to realize what God feels when He sees the people His Son died for going back to the sins He freed them from. What pain to His loving heart to find His redeemed people in willful sin!
Of course, God already knows everything. He has already searched us, more thoroughly than any TSA checkpoint. But He still desires us, like David, to seek His searching. To open up to His investigation of our lives. To lay our bodies before Him as a sacrifice, willing for Him to search into any area and identify any weakness or sin.
Open yourself up to God. Allow Him into every part of your life, even if it means He has to root out something you hold dear. If it causes Him pain, it’s not worth keeping. Because it will only cause you pain as well. Let God search you. Let Him know your heart. Let Him know your worries. Let Him have your life and lead it into eternity.
-Matthew W., SC