What you many not know is David later went on to be the appointed King of Israel. As the king of Israel David had his successes and his failures. The most notable failure was his affair with a lady by the name of Bathsheba.
In this convoluted story David sleeps with a soldier’s wife. She becomes pregnant and he tries to cover up the transgression by bringing her husband home from battle in hopes that they would sleep together. Unfortunately for David, the husband, Uriah, was an honorable man and refused to go home and enjoy any amount of comfort or pleasure while his fellow soldiers were out on the battlefield. David then has Uriah murdered and takes Bathsheba as his wife.
This is the same king that declared that God would deliver him from the hand of Goliath. David certainly was a man that knew what it was like to be close to God and what it was like to be far from God. That is why these words that conclude his prayer in Psalm 139 are so powerful.
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.
If anyone knew the value of these words it was David. Somewhere along the line David quit worrying about the potential for sin in his life. That lead him to moral failure in a huge way. Thankfully in David’s story he would repent of his wrongdoing and turn back towards God. Even after this transgression God would say that David was a man after His own heart.
All of us have the capacity to walk away from God. That process is all but inevitable if we get to a place where we are not concerned about sin in our lives.
When David prayed the words above he wasn’t giving God permission to look into his heart. God already know what was there. He was expressing to God that he was willing to pay attention to what God would show him and strive to rid himself of anything that would not be pleasing in His sight.
I challenge you to pray the same prayer with a sincere heart. You will not be giving God permission to see anything he doesn’t already know. He is just waiting for you to communicate that you are willing to pay attention and do something about what he would show you about yourself.
Written by Larry Westfall. Copyright © Finding Wonder 2016.