What Does Psalm 139:23 Mean?

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

Psalm 139:23(NASB)

Verse of the Day

This well-loved, and oft recited Psalm of David, opens our understanding to the greatness and majesty of our awesome God. It gives us a glimpse into His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His omnipresence. It reminds us that God knows every aspect of our lives and is interested in the smallest detail of our existence. This great and mighty God has planned every day of our life and searches out each thought of our heart and every deep longing within.

It is a song of love and comfort, that travels directly from the mind of the Almighty and Everlasting God into the depth of our fragile being, because it reminds us that it is God Who made us and not we ourselves, and that He is the One Who knew us from the beginning when we were hidden in the secret place of our mother's womb – long before we became aware of His presence and power, His wonder and majesty.

As we read through this blessed Psalm verse by verse, we first come to an understanding that He is all-knowing and perfect in wisdom. He is acquainted with all our ways and understands the deepest thoughts of our innermost being. We begin to comprehend that His knowledge is far too wonderful for us to grasp, for He knows the end from the beginning and can read the intimate thoughts in the hidden recesses of our mind.

As we journey through its hallowed verses, we start to become aware that He is our ever-living help and that no matter where we are or where we roam, the Spirit of His presence is there to lead and guide, and His righteous right hand is sufficient to uphold and support us, protect and defend us, comfort and equip us, heal and help us. Were we to travel at the speed of thought or fly to the farthest reaches of the universe, His hand would be there to succour and sustain, for He is our ever-present help in times of trouble.

As David further explores the power and strength of His holy Helper, he realises that he was wonderfully and fearfully made, and concludes that the awesome greatness and marvellous understanding of the eternal God is far too wonderful for him to comprehend. The tranquillity and rest that this knowledge brought him, moved the psalmist to cry out, "Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, O Lord and know my anxious thoughts."

David knew that he was surrounded by wicked men and evil enemies whose hatred of our amazing and glorious God was diametrically opposite to David's depth and devotion for his Lord. David was aware that fear of his enemies and other worries and tension that disquieted his heart, could only be calmed by God. He alone is the One Who is able to still our troubled thoughts and bring peace into our anxious minds.

David cried out for God to search his heart and prove the depth of his love for his Lord. He wanted Him to test his love and loyalty, to try his heart as a refiner tests the purity of silver or gold. But he knew that any anxious thoughts that were concealed within, could not be hidden from the penetrating gaze of His God and Saviour.

He knew that God alone could bring calm to his distressed soul, and knew that any ungodly thoughts that are masked within a man's heart are seen in clear view by the Lord, and David wanted his anxiety exposed and his troubled thoughts cleansed and made clean by the purifying light of God's perfect character.

May we come to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the amazing nature of our awesome God, and gain a glimpse into His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His omnipresence. May we come to a deeper awareness of the beautiful attributes of our glorious God, for He is the only source of grace and truth, mercy and love, peace and hope, salvation for the soul, and life eternal. 

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful insights that David has given us into Your perfect character. Thank You for Your love and grace, and that You are our all-knowing God Who knew us intimately in our mother's womb and scheduled every day of our life. Thank You that You are the all-powerful God Who has promised to help and protect us, uphold and support us, sustain and defend us, comfort and equip us, heal and help us. I pray that You would search my heart too and expose anything that is clouding my Christian walk and hindering my relationship with You. Cleanse me from my sin, purify my heart, comfort any anxious thoughts, and draw me into closer fellowship with Yourself, from this day forward. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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Psalm 139:23 Further Study

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