Psalm 139:23: You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. (ESV)
This is a statement about how comprehensive the knowledge of God is. Though it should go without saying, the devil is the master of deception and he has been hard at work on the earth to ensure that people get the wrong impression about God.
He worked hard at getting Eve to believe a lie about God through which her soul was darkened and her life was therefore darkened (Genesis 3). She was exactly where the devil wanted her to be so that she can make the wrong decision because the wrong understanding of God leads to wrong actions, especially about God.
It does not matter who does not see you, what is most important is that God does. God sees you and that is all that matters, whether what you do is good or bad.
Jesus spoke of the separating “goats” and “sheep” in the last days and how he will say to the sheep: when I was hungry you fed me, when I was in prison you visited men, when I was homeless you housed me (Matthew 25:32-46).
But they said they could not remember when they did all that, but Jesus said that when they did it to others, they were doing it to him. He notices. He is aware.
He was there and his reward is with him (Revelation 22:12). When you realise God is looking at you when you do the right thing, and that he has his reward for you, then you will not faint but continue doing good (Galatians 6:9. You will not care much for human recognition.
And it does not matter how well you hide the wrong thing, God sees it and he will repay, if you do not repent. The Bible says: your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23).
David’s sin(s) found him out.
He committed adultery with Uriah’s wife, when he was off to battle (2Samuel 11:1-12:15). It was supposed to be a one-time thing and nobody was supposed to be the wiser.
But soon after, the woman got pregnant, and David hatched another plot to cover up his sinful track. However through that he dug a deeper and deeper pit for himself. He tried one cover up attempt after another, and it eventually blew up in his face.
He prematurely brought Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband from the war front, adding manipulation to his adultery.
He asked Uriah the soldier to come from the war front, so that he can sleep with his wife and the pregnancy would be thrust on him. The man refused to bite, and David decided to have him killed. And he died in battle, literally carrying the letter of his own death sentence, sent to Joab the General by the king, who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. At the end, David married the woman who now gave birth to a son. The king paints himself in merciful brushes (marrying the widow of a casualty of war), while hiding a vicious heart.
David did all these in a bid to preserve his goody two shoes image as King. He maintained a pristine image before men, which was soiled before God.
Nathan later came with the word of the Lord to David showing him that though he thought no one knew, God was aware and has an opinion, which is his judgement because he is the judge of all the earth (Psalm 94:2).
He judged that David will be punished and somebody, under the full glare of the sun, will sleep with his wives.
That shows that if you do something in the hole of the ground, it is as opened to God as something done in the open space. There is no hiding from God. He discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). He knows our thoughts long before they are formed in our hearts (Psalm 139:2).
The phrase “search me” is an expression of openness. If you are not opened to be searched by God, then you do not want his cleansing. Paul says: in me lies nothing good (Romans 7:18). He acknowledges his brokenness and so was ready to be healed by God.
You cannot be helped if you think you have no need or seek to preserve a false image. Hence the need for us to confess our sins one to another (James 5:16). Jesus spoke to the Pharisees who claim to see, that it is when they acknowledge their blindness that they qualify for his ministry which is to open the eyes of the blind, and in that particular case, spiritual blindness (John 9:39-41).
When we call upon the Lord he will answer us, but we will only call to the limit of our understanding of our own need (Jeremiah 33:3). We will not call if we think we do not have any need. And the more our eyes are opened to our need the more we will look unto God for rescue. Without pain you will not think you need physical help, you seek God to the limit of your hunger and thirst for him (Psalm 42:1-2).
But men do not want God to search them because they love to continue in their wickedness (John 3:19-21). In the Old Testament, prophets who speak the truth were imprisoned or even killed because men do not want to be confronted with the errors of their ways as they still want to continue to enjoy the fruits of wickedness without repercussion.
When God appeared in the Garden of Eden, with his blazing light, the response of Adam and Eve was to run away because they have sinned. And when confronted, they came up with excuses.
David did not come up with excuses when confronted with his sin, he said that in sin his mother conceived him (Psalm 51). He recognised that sin was worked into his very nature from the time of conception, and that he cannot help himself. He asked God to use his hyssop soap to clean him up, to change him inside out.
The Bible says in the book of Malachi that Jesus is the refining fire (Malachi 3:1-5). John the Baptist said that though he baptises with water, Jesus was going to baptise them with Holy Spirit and fire, permanently dealing with the issue of sin in man (Luke 3:16). He will thoroughly purge us of all impurities, i.e. anything contrary to the nature of Christ will be dealt with. It starts with us taking on his robe of righteousness as we move from our state of sin to our life of righteousness (2Corinthians 5:21).
God does not search you to ridicule you. But there is nothing he does not know about you to start with. The search is about you cooperating with God to bring change to your life. The Bible says that can two walk together except they agree (Amos 3:3)?
First we need to agree that God’s word is his standard, and they are unshifting. The bible says that God exalts his word above his name, meaning, you can only relate with him (his name) to the extent that you have agreed to his standard, agreed that he should search you (Psalm 138:2).
- Repentance (scottsholar.com)
- The Fear of the Lord (llamapacker.wordpress.com)
- Jesus christ foretold in the old testament (slideshare.net)
- Sin Offerings (gentlereformation.com)