Psalm 139, 140, 141
The Psalms have brought tremendous comfort and guidance to so many for so long. Join me in taking a fresh look at each Psalm. As you read through them, I urge you to reflect, pray, and apply these devotional bits of encouragement to your own life. Today, we study and reflect on Psalms 139, 140, and 141.
“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.” This is a prayer I pray everyday. One translation says, “See if there be any wicked way in me and cleanse me from every sin and set me free.” Powerful words, all. It is important to live an “evaluated life.” Someone once said that “the unevaluated life is not worth living.” The point is, it is possible to meander through life unchecked and be moving in the wrong direction. We need to pause, take personal inventory, and talk to God about the direction and trajectory of our lives each and every day. Sometimes we need to ask God for forgiveness. Sometimes we need to correct our course. We may even need to make a major change. Let’s all ask ourselves several questions today. Are there relationships that need attention? Are their attitudes that need adjusted? Are there sins that need confessing? Are there words that need explaining? Is there someone I need to apologize to? Is there something I need to change in my family, relationships, finances, faith, health, or schedule? Am I putting God first? Is my family getting the time they need and deserve? Am I a good testimony for God to others? How do I need to change? How can I be a better blessing to others?
“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.” — Psalms 139:23-24
David didn’t need the Lord some of the time. He was desperate for God’s help all of the time. Look at David’s prayer in Ps 140—“Rescue me, protect me, save me, hear me, have mercy on me, deliver me.” We don’t only call out to God when we have no strength. We call out to God when we have strength but know our strength is not enough. We are to call out to God in every situation and all of the time. David was a man of great faith. As king, he was a man of great strength. His greatest strength was his awareness that his strength and wisdom were not enough. His constant dependence on the Lord stands out to me. He knew where his help came from. He knew he needed the strength, wisdom, and help of the Lord always. There is always a lot coming at us in this life. We must affirm that our own wisdom and strength are not enough. We need the Lord always. And remember, He is always with you, beside you, in you, and for you. Trust in Him at all times!
“Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers; protect me from the violent, Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet. I say to the Lord, “You are my God.” Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy. Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.” — Psalms 140:1, 4, 6-7
Do you want to be wise? Proverbs tells us to “not be wise in our own eyes.” In Psalm 141 we see four ways to be wise in God’s eyes. First, pray. Pray daily. Pray when times are good, and pray when you find yourself in a deep and dark pit. Second, be careful how you speak. What you say and how you say it matters to Jesus and should matter to us. Our words can bruise or build. Many people ignore this to the peril of their relationships and influence. Third, turn from evil. Don’t be led astray. Sin is seductive. We must recognize it in all forms and not be seduced by it or minimize it. Sin is destructive. Fourth, keep your eyes fixed on the Lord. This final one will help us with the other three. There is so much in life that can distract us. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and seek His ways and His will in all things.
“I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge…” — Psalms 141:1, 3-4, 8