Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 139:23-24’

God searches

March 7, 2018

Described as an invitation for “a soul-searching probe from the Lord,” Psalm 139 opens with a declaration that God knows all about His creation.

Psalm 139:1-5:

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.

The Verse of the Day for March 7, 2018 brings closure to this heartfelt invitation:

Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV):

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The entire psalm centers on the verb “search” which has been translated “ to search into, to inquire, to inspect carefully;  to examine with effort and care and accuracy in order to make a full and clear discovery or complete and exact calculation; to track, to trace, to investigate by exploring; to search minutely by uncovering.”

We find a similar reference to the Lord in Chronicles 28:9 (NIV):

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

Likewise, Jeremiah 17:10 (NIV) also declares:

“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”

Romans 8:27-28 also directs our attention to the searching of the human heart:

27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

The Verse of the Day and related verses remind us who God is and what He does:

God Searches:

Romans 8:27-28

 

God searches the depths of each soul and probes each heart,

To uncover each motive and extract the pure,

Discarding dross, thus perfecting the refiner’s art.

The word of prophecy stands as even more sure,

The touchstone to measure the essence of all life.

All else shall fail but the Word shall ever inspire.

This two-edged sword, sharper than a finely honed knife–

Living, powerful, piercing each thought and desire,

Penetrating soul and spirit, joints and marrow–

Probing deepest emotions, dispelling the dark.

Life-giving and powerful, swift as an arrow

That finds its target and that always hits its mark

Reaching its own perfection, to its fullest extent,

The Word of God prospers wherever it is sent.

Hillsong offers a moving rendition of “Search Me O God,” a most appropriate musical accompaniment to close today’s blog entry:

Research: Search again

March 7, 2017

Psalm-139-23-24

The Verse of Day for March 7, 2017 presents this personal petition:

Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV):

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.

This celebrated passage also brings to mind a previous blog entry that focused on the word “research.” Just as it was at that time, so I am also currently teaching a composition course where my students are working on a research paper, and once again the term “research” continues to be very much in my thoughts.

Research in its most literal sense means to “re-search” or to “search again.” In thinking about the concluding  passage from Psalm 139, we recognize that this entire psalm could be viewed as an invitation to deepest, divine inspection. The Psalmist opens with recognition that God knows all about us. He has made, formed and created us. Indeed, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The psalm closes with a heartfelt request in the closing verses.

Psalm 139 also brings to mind a previous blog entry that made reference to a life-changing teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah, who taught on the refining fire of God. I made reference to that message in this excerpt from a journal entry made following hearing the teaching:

It is one of the most moving tapes I have heard, as he relates how God puts us through the process of refining in order to extract the precious metal from within us.  In the same way that a refiner breaks the stones and sends them through the fire over and over again, so God sends us through the fires of life in order to extract and purify the gold within our souls.  God removes our need to feel secure, to be in control, and to survive by putting in situations that try us, “fiery temptations” that prove who we really are.  God controls the entire process, determining the timing, the temperature, the target, and the terms of the fire. Our tendency is respond with a series of questions as to “why?”: “why me?”, “why now?”, and “why not someone else?”  Like children, we continually ask why when God, as a good parent, is not obligated to explain that which children cannot understand at the time they ask “why.”  The only questions we should be asking are “What are you trying to teach me?” and “What are you trying to change in me?”

Finally, in reflecting upon the passage from Psalm 139, my mind is flooded with an understanding of what is transpiring in my life at this time. God is doing precisely what I asked Him to do in two poems, both of which express my deepest desire:

Try Me

24Search 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

 

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary. . .

pure and holy, tried and true. . .

Contemporary Gospel Song


Purify my motive; assay my devotion;

weigh each desire, carat by carat, dram by dram.

In the refining fire of your furnace try me.

Test the mettle of my soul; scrape away all dross,

all debris that would adulterate my intents

and leave behind the purity of ore that I

may see my face reflected in the pool of gold.

I long to take the treasure of your precious Word,

securely hide it in the lock box of my heart

and as a faithful son, hand you the only key.

Another poem that could be described as “the second verse of the same song” is also inspired in part by the same verses from Psalm 139:

Search Me: A Song for You

“I know your image of me is what I hope to be

If I’ve treated you unkindly, can’t you see?

That there’s no one more important to me.

Oh, won’t you please look through me. . .”

“A Song for You”–Leon Russell

                                                

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.


 24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life
.

Psalm 139: 23-24 (NLT)

 

The whole of my life unfolds as an open book,

Known and read by all with eyes to see, page by page.

As you read each line, take an even closer look,

Probe the depths of each of my thoughts, as you engage

The text, searching my heart for its deepest meaning.

Your searching and knowing is the ultimate scan.

As you discern my essence, my inmost being,

I will align myself according to your plan.

Beyond MRIs, devices to diagnose,

You see and assess any abnormality.

In these times of watchful waiting, you draw me close:

Despite what tests reveal, you have healed and delivered me.

At times I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do,

“But we’re alone now, and I’m singing this song to you.”

Hillsong offers a moving rendition of “Search Me O God,” an appropriate musical accompaniment to close today’s blog entry:

I, the Lord, search all hearts

July 2, 2016

 

Jeremiah 17--9-10

Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NLT)

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

The Verse of the Day brings to mind the third part of “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 personal prayer to God.  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 Part 3 I ask God to “Inspect Me.”  Since there is no word “inspect” used in the King James Version, I used “search” that has the following definition and found in the following scriptures:

Psalm 139:1-5, 23-24:

 

O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

 

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

 

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

 

 

1 Chronicles 28:9 mentions similar characteristics of God:

 

9  As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever.

 

 

Verse 28 of this celebrated passage contains what I consider as my favorite verse in all of the Bible:

Romans 8:27-28

27  And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The following poem reiterates the message of the Verse of the Day and related scriptures:

 

God Searches

But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.

 I give all people their due rewards,

according to what their actions deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:10

 

God searches the depths of each soul and probes each heart,

To uncover each motive and extract the pure,

Discarding dross, thus perfecting the refiner’s art.

The word of prophecy stands as even more sure,

The touchstone to measure the essence of all life.

All else shall fail but the Word shall ever inspire.

This two-edged sword, sharper than a finely honed knife–

Living, powerful, piercing each thought and desire,

Penetrating soul and spirit, joints and marrow–

Probing deepest emotions, dispelling the dark.

Life-giving and powerful, swift as an arrow

That finds its target and that always hits its mark

Reaching its own perfection, to its fullest extent,

The Word of God prospers wherever it is sent.

 

Hillsong offer “Search Me O God”

Psalm 139: Search me and know me

May 14, 2016

Psalm 139--3-14The Verse of the Day for May 14, 2016 comes from one of my favorite psalms:

Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV)

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Here is a rendering in the New Living Translation:

13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it

This passage has been the source of comments for two previous blog entries which discussed Psalm 139 as a whole. One particular entry was devoted to discussing, not the Verse of the Day, but to what was designated as the “Word for the Day,” meaning that I had chosen to examine a particular word and expound upon its meaning and personal application. The Word for the Day at that time was “research.” In a similar way, I currently teach a composition course where my students are working on a research paper, and simultaneously as a professor at Carolina College of Biblical Studies, I continue serving on the dissertation committee for a colleague who is completing the research for his dissertation from another university. The term “research” thus has been and continues to be very much in my thoughts of late.

Research in its most literal sense means to “re-search” or to “search again.” My thoughts turned to Psalm 139, which in its entirety can be viewed as an invitation to deepest, divine inspection. The Psalmist opens with recognition that God knows all about us. He has made, formed and created us. Indeed, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Listen as Esther Mui expresses Psalm 139:1-18 as a Christian Scripture Worship Song: “You Have Searched Me and Known Me.”

The celebrated psalm closes with a heartfelt request in verses 23-24:

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.

In reflecting upon these passages from Psalm 139, my mind is flooded with an understanding of what is transpiring in my life at this time. God is doing precisely what I asked Him to do in this poem which expresses my deepest desire:

Search Me: A Song for You

“I know your image of me is what I hope to be

If I’ve treated you unkindly, can’t you see?

That there’s no one more important to me.

Oh, won’t you please look through me. . . “

 “A Song for You”–Leon Russell

                                            

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.

Psalm 139: 23-24

 

The whole of my life unfolds as an open book,

Known and read by all with eyes to see, page by page.

As you read each line, take an even closer look,

Probe the depths of each of my thoughts, as you engage

The text, searching my heart for its deepest meaning.

Your searching and knowing is the ultimate scan.

As you discern my essence, my inmost being,

I will align myself according to your plan.

Beyond MRIs, devices to diagnose,

You see and assess any abnormality.

In these times of watchful waiting, you draw me close:

Despite what tests reveal, you will heal and deliver me.

At times I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do,

“But we’re alone now, and I’m singing this song to you.”

Once more Esther Mui offers a moving rendition of Psalm 139:23-24 in the Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song: “Lead Me in the Way Everlasting.”

God searches

March 7, 2016

Psalm 139--23-24

Taken from Psalm 139, the Verse of Day for March 7, 2016 presents this personal petition:

Psalm 139:23-24 (AMP)

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

This passage also brings to mind a blog entry posted a few months ago when I did not discuss the Verse of the Day but rather f0cused on the Word for the Day, examining a particular word and expounding upon its meaning and personal application. That word was “research.” Just as it was at that time, so I am also currently teaching a composition course where my students are working on a research paper, and simultaneously as a professor at Carolina College of Biblical Studies, I am serving on the committee for a colleague who is completing the research for his dissertation from another university. The term “research” continues to be very much in my thoughts.

Research in its most literal sense means to “re-search” or to “search again.” In thinking about the passage from Psalm 139, I recognize that this entire psalm could be viewed as an invitation to deepest, divine inspection. The Psalmist opens with recognition that God knows all about us. He has made, formed and created us. Indeed, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The psalm closes with a heartfelt request in the closing verses.

Upon further reflecting on Psalm 139, I also thought about the concept of “research” and recall a discussion regarding God, our Father, as the ultimate “Researcher” who conducts this grand “research project” whose primary purpose is for the advancement of human knowledge about God, that we might “fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” In the process we discover, interpret and develop knowledge, which we apply as we grow in our understanding of the Creator and His vast universe. I recall this poem that centers on “searching” or “trying,” as in examining closely and scrutinizing in detail in order to render some kind of assessment or evaluation. Introducing the work is a section of Scripture from Romans 8:27-28 (NKJV):

27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose

 

God Searches
Romans 8:27-28

God searches the depths of each soul and probes each heart,
To uncover each motive and extract the pure,
Discarding dross, thus perfecting the refiner’s art.
The word of prophecy stands as even more sure,
The touchstone to measure the essence of all life.
All else shall fail, but the Word shall ever inspire.
This two-edged sword, sharper than a finely honed knife–
Living, powerful, piercing each thought and desire,
Penetrating soul and spirit, joints and marrow–
Probing deepest emotions, dispelling the dark.
Life-giving and powerful, swift as an arrow
That finds its target and that always hits its mark.
Reaching its own perfection, to its fullest extent,
The Word of God prospers wherever it is sent.

Esther Mui offers this tender rendition of “Lead Me in the Way Everlasting” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship) inspired by Psalm 139:23-24.

When he has tried me

March 2, 2016

Job 23--10

The Verse of the Day for March 2, 2016 is found in Job 23:10-11 (AMP):

“But He knows the way that I take [and He pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I will come forth as [refined] gold [pure and luminous]. “My feet have carefully followed His steps; I have kept His ways and not turned aside.

As I reflected upon this passage, my thoughts turned to Psalm 139, all of which can be can be viewed as an invitation to deepest, divine inspection. The Psalmist opens with recognition that God knows all about us. He has made, formed and created us. Indeed, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The celebrated psalm closes with a heartfelt request:

Psalm 139:23-24 (AMP)

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalm 139 also brings to mind a previous blog entry “Try me: Search me again” which I have modified and re-post today, as another dose of good medicine from the shelves of Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe.

The original blog entry made reference to a life-changing teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah, who taught on the refining fire of God more than ten years ago. I discuss the message in this excerpt from a journal entry made following the teaching:

It is one of the most moving tapes I have heard, as he relates how God puts us through the process of refining in order to extract the precious metal from within us. In the same way that a refiner breaks the stones and sends them through the fire over and over again, so God sends us through the fires of life in order to extract and purify the gold within our souls. God removes our need to feel secure, to be in control, and to survive by putting in situations that try us, “fiery temptations” that prove who we really are. God controls the entire process, determining the timing, the temperature, the target, and the terms of the fire. Our tendency is respond with a series of questions as to “why?”: “why me?”, “why now?”, and “why not someone else?” Like children, we continually ask why when God, as a good parent, is not obligated to explain that which children cannot understand at the time they ask “why.” The only questions we should be asking are “What are you trying to teach me?” and “What are you trying to change in me?”

In reflecting upon the passage from Psalm 139, my mind is flooded with an understanding of what is transpiring in my life at this particular time. God is doing precisely what I asked Him to do in two poems from a collection of seven works that intertwine through their opening lines: “All Tests” and “To Graduate with Honors,” both of which express my deepest desire:

All Tests

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and
Challenges come at you from all sides.” [The Message]
James 1:2

With zeal I make my calling and election sure,
As I attempt to complete yet another test.
Ever the eager student, I will do my best.
You promised good to me, your Word my hope secure.
Search me and know me—discern that my motives are pure.
My soul now anchored in hope; in you I find rest.
You are my light, even when times seem their darkest.
As a patient father who seeks to reassure
His son, so the Master Teacher shows His design:
All tests are formed not to punish but to refine.
Despite shortcomings and failures that I have made,
You are gracious and generous each time you grade.
With each assignment, I seek to excel, not just pass,
To graduate with honors, the first in my class.

 

Esther Mui offers a moving musical rendition of Psalm 139: 23-24, Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song: “Lead Me in the Way Everlasting”:

Another poem that could be described as “the second verse of the same song” begins where the previous poem ends:

To Graduate with Honors

I desire to be a straight-A student in the University of Life
Lonnell E. Johnson

To graduate with honors, the first in my class;
Once more “to pioneer a new and living way.”
To rise above the mundane, striving to surpass
Past limits, still moving toward a more perfect day.
In reflecting on bygone years, I recall
These words: “The Lord is my light and my salvation,
Whom shall I fear?” words implanted to strengthen me,
Learned by heart, this prophetic declaration.
Though my thoughts may stray, your presence is always near.
Hand-in-hand, while walking toward my destination,
With my ears still near your lips, ever listening to hear
Words of life that endear, words of exhortation.
I ponder the winding path that my life has turned,
With deepest gratitude for all that I have learned.

Hillsong offers a moving rendition of “Search Me O God,” an appropriate musical accompaniment to close today’s blog entry:

Research: To search again

November 4, 2015

Psalm 139--23-24Normally I post a blog entry devoted to the Verse of the Day, but today, I want to consider the Word for the Day, meaning that I have chosen to examine a particular word and expound upon its meaning and personal application. The Word for the Day for, November 4, 2015 is “research.” Currently I am teaching a composition course where my students are working on a research paper, and simultaneously as a professor at Carolina College of Biblical Studies, I am serving on the dissertation committee for a colleague who is completing the research for his dissertation from another university. The term “research” has been very much in my thoughts of late.

Research in its most literal sense means to “re-search” or to “search again.” My mind goes to Psalm 139, which in its entirety can be viewed as an invitation to deepest, divine inspection. The Psalmist opens with recognition that God knows all about us. He has made, formed and created us. Indeed, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The celebrated psalm closes with a heartfelt request in verses 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.

Psalm 139 also brings to mind a previous blog entry “Try me: Search me again” which is modified and re-posted today, as this new dose of good medicine from the shelves of Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe.

The original blog entry made reference to a life-changing teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah, who taught on the refining fire of God more than ten years ago. I discuss the message in this excerpt from a journal entry made following the teaching:

It is one of the most moving tapes I have heard, as he relates how God puts us through the process of refining in order to extract the precious metal from within us. In the same way that a refiner breaks the stones and sends them through the fire over and over again, so God sends us through the fires of life in order to extract and purify the gold within our souls. God removes our need to feel secure, to be in control, and to survive by putting us in situations that try us, “fiery temptations” that prove who we really are. God controls the entire process, determining the timing, the temperature, the target, and the terms of the fire. Our tendency is to respond with a series of questions as to “why?”: “why me?”, “why now?”, and “why not someone else?” Like children, we continually ask why when God, as a good parent, is not obligated to explain that which children cannot understand at the time they ask “why.” The only questions we should be asking are “What are you trying to teach me?” and “What are you trying to change in me?”

In reflecting upon the passage from Psalm 139, my mind is flooded with an understanding of what is transpiring in my life at this time. God is doing precisely what I asked Him to do in two poems “Try Me” and “Search Me: A Song for You” both of which express my deepest desire:

Try Me

24Search 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

 

 

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary. . .

pure and holy, tried and true. . .

Contemporary Gospel Song

 

Purify my motive; assay my devotion;

weigh each desire, carat by carat, dram by dram.

In the refining fire of your furnace try me.

Test the mettle of my soul; scrape away all dross,

all debris that would adulterate my intents

and leave behind the purity of ore that I

may see my face reflected in the pool of gold.

I long to take the treasure of your precious Word,

securely hide it in the lock box of my heart

and as a faithful son, hand you the only key.

“Lord Prepare Me to be s Sanctuary” expresses in music the essence of that request.

Another poem that could be described as “the second verse of the same song” is also inspired in part by the same verses from Psalm 139:

Search Me: A Song for You

“I know your image of me is what I hope to be

If I’ve treated you unkindly, can’t you see?

That there’s no one more important to me.

Oh, won’t you please look through me. . .”

“A Song for You”–Leon Russell

               

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.


24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life
.

Psalm 139: 23-24 (NLT)

The whole of my life unfolds as an open book,

Known and read by all with eyes to see, page by page.

As you read each line, take an even closer look,

Probe the depths of each of my thoughts, as you engage

The text, searching my heart for its deepest meaning.

Your searching and knowing is the ultimate scan.

As you discern my essence, my inmost being,

I will align myself according to your plan.

Beyond MRIs, devices to diagnose,

You see and assess any abnormality.

In these times of watchful waiting, you draw me close:

Despite what tests reveal, you have healed and delivered me.

At times I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do,

“But we’re alone now, and I’m singing this song to you.”

Hillsong offers a moving rendition of “Search Me O God,” an appropriate musical accompaniment to close today’s blog entry:

.

Psalm 139: 23-24: Search me again

March 7, 2015

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:

 

Search me, O God

May 14, 2014

Psalm-139 13-14

The Verse of the Day for May 14, 2014 is taken from Psalm 139:13-14:

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

All of Psalm 139 can be viewed as an invitation to deepest, divine inspection. The Psalmist opens with recognition that God knows all about us. He has made, formed and created us. Indeed, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The celebrated psalm closes with a heartfelt request:

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.

Psalm 139 brings to mind a previous blog entry “Try me: Search me again” which I have modified and re-post today, as this new dose of good medicine from the shelves of Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe.

The original blog entry made reference to a life-changing teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah, who taught on the refining fire of God more than ten years ago. I discuss the message in this excerpt from a journal entry made following the teaching:

It is one of the most moving tapes I have heard, as he relates how God puts us through the process of refining in order to extract the precious metal from within us. In the same way that a refiner breaks the stones and sends them through the fire over and over again, so God sends us through the fires of life in order to extract and purify the gold within our souls. God removes our need to feel secure, to be in control, and to survive by putting in situations that try us, “fiery temptations” that prove who we really are. God controls the entire process, determining the timing, the temperature, the target, and the terms of the fire. Our tendency is respond with a series of questions as to “why?”: “why me?”, “why now?”, and “why not someone else?” Like children, we continually ask why when God, as a good parent, is not obligated to explain that which children cannot understand at the time they ask “why.” The only questions we should be asking are “What are you trying to teach me?” and “What are you trying to change in me?”

In reflecting upon the passage from Psalm 139, my mind is flooded with an understanding of what is transpiring in my life at this time. God is doing precisely what I asked Him to do in two poems “Try Me” and “Search Me: A Song for You” both of which express my deepest desire:

Try Me

Psalm 139:23-24

 

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary. . .

pure and holy, tried and true. . .

 

Purify my motive; assay my devotion;

weigh each desire, carat by carat, dram by dram.

In the refining fire of your furnace try me.

Test the mettle of my soul; scrape away all dross,

all debris that would adulterate my intents

and leave behind the purity of ore that I

may see my face reflected in the pool of gold.

I long to take the treasure of your precious Word,

securely hide it in the lock box of my heart

and as a faithful son, hand you the only key.

 

“Lord Prepare Me to be s Sanctuary” expresses in music the essence of that request.

Another poem that could be described as “the second verse of the same song” is also inspired in part by the same verses from Psalm 139:

 

             Search Me: A Song for You

“I know your image of me is what I hope to be

If I’ve treated you unkindly, can’t you see

That there’s no one more important to me.

Oh, won’t you please look through me. . . “

       “A Song for You”–Leon Russell

                                            

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.

Psalm 139: 23-24

 

The whole of my life unfolds as an open book,

Known and read by all with eyes to see, page by page.

As you read each line, take an even closer look,

Probe the depths of each of my thoughts, as you engage

The text, searching my heart for its deepest meaning.

Your searching and knowing is the ultimate scan.

As you discern my essence, my inmost being,

I will align myself according to your plan.

Beyond MRIs, devices to diagnose,

You see and assess any abnormality.

In these times of watchful waiting, you draw me close:

Despite what tests reveal, you will heal and deliver me.

At times I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do,

“But we’re alone now, and I’m singing this song to you.”

 

Hillsong offers a moving rendition of “Search Me O God,” an appropriate musical accompaniment to close today’s blog entry:

Try me: Search me again

March 7, 2014

Psalm 139--23-24

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 Verse of the Day for March 7, 2014 brings to mind a life-changing teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah who taught on the refining fire of God more than ten years ago. I discuss the message in this excerpt from a journal entry made following the teaching:

It is one of the most moving tapes I have heard, as he relates how God puts us through the process of refining in order to extract the precious metal from within us.  In the same way that a refiner breaks the stones and sends them through the fire over and over again, so God sends us through the fires of life in order to extract and purify the gold within our souls.  God removes our need to feel secure, to be in control, and to survive by putting in situations that try us, “fiery temptations” that prove who we really are.  God controls the entire process, determining the timing, the temperature, the target, and the terms of the fire. Our tendency is respond with a series of questions as to “why?”: “why me?”, “why now?”, and “why not someone else?”  Like children, we continually ask why when God, as a good parent, is not obligated to explain that which children cannot understand at the time they ask “why.”  The only questions we should be asking are “What are you trying to teach me?” and “What are you trying to change in me?”

In reflecting upon the passage from Psalm 139, my mind is flooded with an understanding of what is transpiring in my life at this time. God is doing precisely what I asked Him to do in two poems “Try Me” and “Search Me Again,” both of which express my deepest desire:

Try Me

Psalm 139:23-24

 

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary. . .

pure and holy, tried and true. . .

 

Purify my motive; assay my devotion;

weigh each desire, carat by carat, dram by dram.

In the refining fire of your furnace try me.

Test the mettle of my soul; scrape away all dross,

all debris that would adulterate my intents

and leave behind the purity of ore that I

may see my face reflected in the pool of gold.

I long to take the treasure of your precious Word,

securely hide it in the lock box of my heart

and as a faithful son, hand you the only key.

 

“Lord Prepare Me to be s Sanctuary” expresses in music the essence of that request.

Another poem that could be described as “the second verse of the same song” also opens with the same verses from Psalm 139:

Search Me Again

 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

                                                     

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.

The passage from Psalm 139 was also the inspiration for the hymn “Cleanse Me (Search me, O God) in this arrangement by Bryan Gilliland.