Psalm 139: 23-24: Search me again

Psalm 139--23-24

The Verse of the Day comes from one of my favorite passages from the Book of Psalms:

Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The closing verses of Psalm 139 also bring to mind a previous blog entry “A Five-fold Prayer,” a series of commentaries based on a statement regarding the ways of God when we find ourselves in perplexing situations that challenge our faith. In such instances, God is endeavoring to do one or a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.” After hearing those words, I took those five verbs and formed them into a request, a petition, a prayer to God for me. I asked God to become the initiator of the action, and I would become the object of his action. I also examined each of the verbs with scriptural illustrations from the Old Testament and New Testament and composed a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb at the end of each section related to each of the five verbs. In writing out my personal application of the scriptures, I also incorporated music related to the verbs as well. In Part 1 I ask God to “Inspect Me.”

This particular passage from Psalm 139 was also the inspiration for two poems that were not included in the original blog, but they have been added here. The first poem makes reference to one of the gates rebuilt by Nehemiah in the Old Testament. It is the gate of inspection, or mustering, a gathering place of ministers, a place of the manifest presence of the Lord.

Miphkad Gate: “I Ask Again That You Inspect Me

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

 

The Lord, our God, one who has never slept nor slumbered,

The only wise God who sees all and always takes note,

Observing where the people gather to be numbered

And assessed, whether to cast aside or to promote

At the Miphkad Gate, place of accountability:

The gate repaired by ministers of the market place

Here in this place I ask again that you “Inspect Me”,

Here where everyone must give an account, face to face,

And stand before God Almighty, who alone is good.

As I pass through this last gate, may I never forget

God’s mercy and grace but follow after Christ as I should

And fully transform my thoughts to a Kingdom mindset.

May I walk in truth, applying my heart unto wisdom

And by obedience reap benefits of the Kingdom.

 

At this time I am teaching an English composition class, and my students just completed a research paper which brought to mind this poem:

Search Me Again

 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart.

Try me, and know my anxieties;

24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting. 

Psalm 139:23-24

                                                    

As you follow your protocol, search me again;

Probe the depths of my soul, as you once more explore

My life’s work, as you have done many times before.

While you search, take pleasure in all that may remain,

For your thoughtful study of my ways will explain

The lapses, that though I fall short, you will restore,

That I might be renewed to serve you even more

And so prove that my living will not be in vain.

May you find in me admissible evidence.

May your research validate my life and confirm

All that lives in me, as you once more analyze

The thesis of this research project, in a sense.

Despite intense scrutiny may your findings affirm

Pure-hearted devotion and service in your eyes.

 

Indeed, Psalm 139 is a psalm special significance to me, as this entry reveals. To close out our discussion, listen to “You are there” (Psalm 139) Jazz Meets Hymn2 (Young Joo Song) with vocal by David Ahn:

 

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