“Search me, O God, and know my heart…” (Psalm 139:23)

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King David is an example for us of a man who opened his heart sincerely before God. He knew that his heart was wicked and could stumble him at any moment (he even experienced this in his life), so he prayed this prayer: “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.” (Psalm 139:23-24).

David loved God and did not want to grieve Him. In his prayer he wanted God to examine his heart, to reveal to him a hidden sin in his life and to guide him on the right path, leading to eternal life. David wanted to stand clean before God, he was not afraid to be exposed before Him, he had the fear of God and that is a testimony for us today! God sees, hears and knows everything about us. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13). “…For He knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21).

After the prophet Nathan convicted David for the sin with Bathsheba, he boldly declared: “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight, that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge” (Psalm 51:4). He was aware that the sin he had committed was against God and not just against man and in addition he gave glory to God, as a judge of justice. We must understand that when we sin against man, we sin against God Himself. We also understand this from Yeshua’s words to Saul, when he was on his way to Damascus to arrest believers and harm them: “…and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”… Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…” (Acts 9:4-5). When Saul persecuted the believers, he was actually persecuting Yeshua. The Lord’s rebuke touched Saul’s heart and he answered in submission: “So he… said, “Lord, what do You want me to do? (verse 6).

From here Saul began his new life, a life that has brought glory to God, and a blessing to us all to these days. Our surrender to the Lord is very precious to Him.

In most of David’s Psalms, we learn about his submission to God. In Psalm 32:5, David reveals his heart before God: “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”. David understood that he could not stand before God if he was not forgiven. “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).

David knew that if there was sin in his life, God would not hear his prayers: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18). But when he surrendered and repented, God heard him: “But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!” (Psalm 66:19-20).

King David is an example for us of an honest, open, true, transparent person and above all a person who loved God with all his heart and trusted in Him.

Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth” (Psalm 26:1-3). From the words of David we learn that he was also a humble man. A humble person is one who is willing to receive  rebuke, who is willing to admit a mistake, and is willing to humble himself and let God purify him and guide him to repentance. Confession of sins and repentance are critical in our lives as Christians, “For we all stumble in many things…” (James 3:2).

The word “repent” appears eight times in chapters 2 and 3 in the book of Revelation in the letters to five of the seven congregations. This shows us how important the subject of the repentance is in God’s eyes.

“…repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (chapter 2:5).

Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth” (chapter 2:16).

“And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds” (chapter 2:21-22).

“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (chapter 3:3).

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (chapter 3:19).

James in his epistle guides us: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:8-10). God wants us to approach Him with clean hands and a whole heart. If there is sin in our lives, it should sadden us like sadness in a time of mourning, until we will surrender before Him and He by His grace, will lift us up.

Our closeness to God in the right way, in the way He guides us according to His word, is the one that will keep us from any obstacle on the narrow way to the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).