This is one of the most famous psalms, and probably the favorite of many along with Psalm 23. Why are these two psalms so beloved? Probably because they show the loving care of God
Actually this psalm could either be very scary or it could be very comforting depending on the view that you take. In the States, everyone is worried about “big brother.” They worry that the CIA can track us all with their satellites and watch everything we do. But that’s nothing compared with what God can do.
As David writes, he knows when we sleep and when we rise. He knows when we go out or just relax in our living rooms. He knows everything that we do. Even the darkness can’t hide us from him. And no matter where we go, he always knows exactly where we are.
More than that, he not only knows every word that we speak on our cell phones. He knows every word that we speak at home or at work. He even knows every word that goes unspoken in our minds.
Now if God were someone who was just waiting for us to do something wrong so he could whack us, that would be scary. If he looked upon us with hostile intent, that would be terrifying.
But instead, God looks upon us with mercy and love. He was there when we were in our mother’s womb. He in fact was the very one knitting us together there. And as he created us, he had dreams for us. Plans for what we could be. As David said, were we to count all his thoughts concerning us, we’d find that they outnumber all the grains of sand.
Not only that, from the very beginning, he knew what we would do, what decisions we would make, and he wove us into his plans for his kingdom. Nothing catches him by surprise. He has no need for a plan B. He only has plan A. And his plans have not changed from the time he first conceived them.
So no matter what we do or how we fail, his thoughts toward us never change. He will weave whatever we do, whether good or bad, into his plans. The only question is, will we cooperate with him willingly, or will we find ourselves woven into his design kicking and fighting the whole way?
For David, his decision was clear. Although his words may seem harsh, nevertheless, it was clear that he had a hatred for evil, because he knew that God hates evil. And he wanted nothing to do with it, nor with the people who perpetuate it in our world.
On the contrary, he wanted to keep a heart that was holy and pleasing to God. A heart that was submissive to his Lord’s will. And so he closes the psalm by praying,
Search me, O 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. (23-24)
Lord, thank you that you know and love me. That from the time I was in my mother’s womb, you already knew me and had plans for me. Use me for your purposes. My life is yours. Wherever I go, and whatever I do, may your hand guide me. Change me where I need to be changed. Take out the evil that is within me and purify me. And lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus name, amen.