Many people see God as a distant deity who created us, along with everything else, but who now sits back at a distance watching history unfold. David, and all of the authors of the Bible, would never agree with this assessment of God. They would say that God is immanent, He is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives and all of history.
Psalm 139:23-24 certainly helps me to see just how intimately God was involved in David’s life. David said to God, “Search me” and “try me.” These are two different ways God is involved in our lives. To “search” means, “to examine” or to “inspect.” God is watching, He is inspecting our thoughts and actions to see if they rightly reflect His character, His very heart to a broken and lost world. To “try” us is the same thing that a Silversmith does as he purifies silver. As the silver is heated the dross rises to the top and the Silversmith scoops it off to raise the quality of the silver. “Searching,” “examining,” and “trying” are all God’s activity in each of our lives, but they are very different activities. Job said, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10 NIV) The “tests” God administers to us come in many different ways, some more intense than others. They are not punishment, they are intended to purify us, to bring the dross of ungodly behaviors to the surface so that He can remove them.
David desired for His life to be lived under the constant purifying and reforming eyes of God. I find that most of us, including myself, would rather not undergo such intense scrutinization, but look what happens as a result. Sinful thoughts and actions that initially seem like no big deal end up growing into monsters that consume us and can destroy our lives. I would rather live under God’s microscope and submit myself to His “tests” than fail at living the life He has called me to live.
My prayer for today, Lord, is that You will keep me under surveillance every moment of every day and reveal to me those things in my life that You want to change.