Bible Pathways - July 18, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Psalm 139 proclaims God's universal presence and infinite knowledge and how He knows our every thought, word, and deed. This could be anyone of us speaking to God.The closing prayer is one of the most needed prayers in the whole Bible. The last four psalms are David's heartfelt pleas for protection.
A sincere love of God prompts a clear break from sin, as indicated by David's intense concern about himself: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts (139:23). This request expresses sincerity. It is not the request of one who was ignorant of his true character and inflated with presumption but of one who thoroughly knew his natural human tendency to self-deception. Just as one unguarded entrance to a high-walled city may admit an invading horde, David knew that yielding to one temptation could weaken an otherwise guarded life.
Let us be well assured that God alone knows our hearts completely (I Chronicles 28:9). The question is: "How does God make known to us that which is known so perfectly to Him?" Let us take David as an example. For months after his great sins of adultery and murder, he apparently lived without confession and without forgiveness and without his conscience convicting him because he was in all other activities appearing as a very good and gracious king of the kingdom of God. But, after one year the prophet Nathan was led of God to say: Wherefore hast thou despised the Commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? . . . Therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house. . . . Thus saith the Lord . . . I will raise up evil against thee (II Samuel 12:9-11). It was God's authoritative Word that brought conviction and exposed David's wickedness to his own heart. Deeply grieved, David confessed his sin, repented, and was pardoned by God and restored to fellowship with Him. But as God foretold, David suffered many tragedies to the day of his death.
When he denied his Lord, Peter remembered the Word of Jesus (Matthew 26:75). That Word searched his heart, and he went out and wept bitterly. The Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the instrument which the Lord God uses today to search the depths of the human heart. David revealed this to Solomon when he said: Thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever (I Chronicles 28:9).
Have you joined David in the words by which he closed this Psalm, saying: How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! (Psalm 139:17)?
Thought for Today:
Satan would like for us to believe that we can hide our sin and get away with it.
As the One who deals bountifully with (recompenses) us (Psalm 142:7). I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10; Jeremiah 29:11).
139:15 curiously wrought =b> skillfully fashioned; 140:5 gins =b> lures, snares; 141:7 Our bones are scattered =b> Overwhelming destruction is contemplated; 143:3 smitten =b> crushed, struck.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Officials: Rep. William Delahunt (MA), Rep. Harry Mitchell (AZ), Rep. Mark Souder (IN), and Rep. Mark Udall (CO) • Country: Zaire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (63 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: French and Lingala • Limited religious freedom • 42% Roman Catholic; 28% Protestant; 12% magical practices, ancestor worship, and witchcraft; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God in prayer for His faithfulness to His Word and His desire that all come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
Optional Reading: 2 Timothy 3
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:9