‘Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.’ (Psalm 139:2).
Thou Knowest. Come my soul, here is a test as to your spiritual condition! Will you apply it? Will you be weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, and see whether or not you are found wanting? Does your Lord’s intimate knowledge of your every thought, and desire, and action, oppress and disconcert you, or are you willing and glad to live under such close inspection, and even to covet the glances of that eye which searches you through and through?
‘My Downsitting and mine uprising.’ Lord, do you love me so much as to watch tenderly over me in such small matters? How the thought comforts me! We do not care about the everyday life of strangers: but when we love anyone dearly, we take great interest in all that concerns them; and even so, my God, this searching, knowing, understanding, compassing, besetting, laying of your hand upon me, are all most precious tokens to me of your indescribable love.
How watchful and careful should this knowledge make me! ‘My downsitting and mine uprising.’ My home life! My daily duties, both of work and of leisure! My going out and my coming in, my conduct and bearing under all circumstances! How these are all gathered into the compass of those five words! Lord, help me to walk worthy of you, unto all pleasing!
‘Thou understandest my thought afar off.’ What infinite knowledge! Well may the psalmist say, ‘It is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it’!
Before I think, God knows my thought! O my soul, are not your thoughts the source of most of your grievous perplexities and sorrows? They are often so unruly and rebellious, sometimes unholy and profane, that all your efforts to bring them into captivity to the law of Christ are unavailing! Then, see where your help lies.
The God who can understand your thoughts ‘afar off’ has the power to restrain them; no, more than that; before they reach you , while they are yet distant and unexpressed, he will purify and cleanse them, so that they shall enter your heart as angel whispers, and pass your lips only as words of love and blessing.
Dear Master, I make your servant David’s prayer my very own and say, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’