Scary Words

Psalm 139, by King David, is one of the most amazing writings in the Bible, because of its extraordinary description of how intimately God knows each of us. Regardless of whether we are introverted or extroverted by nature, we all tend to project what we want others to see, while protecting deep private places where no one else is allowed (even God).

For the most part, those private things under lock and key are negative. They are about our failures, inadequacies, profound pain, selfishness, deep fears, regrets, loneliness, emptiness, feelings of worthlessness, and much, much more. We believe that if we can keep these things in a sealed compartment, then, out-of-sight-out-of-mind. The lid is on tight, and we’re not impacted.

Unfortunately, our sealed boxes are like faulty nuclear disposal containers that begin to leak after a period of time, because the contents are so corrosive. Just as the ground water becomes contaminated, and vegetation won’t grow around a nuclear dump site, the leaks from our internal containers present themselves through over-the-top emotional reactions, anger, depression, taking offense to others, projecting wrong motives onto others, refusing affection and/or help from others…and that’s just the start.

So, how scary is it when David says, “Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways”? (Psalm 139:1-3) Was David so sure of his righteousness that he didn’t mind God peeking into his box?

Quite to the contrary, David knew the LOVE of God that completely overshadowed his rightness and wrongness. This Love considers all the minute details of each individual’s life, and deliberately creates every human as a standalone masterpiece. This God-love yearns for relationship with His children, and is always there — even silently when His kids are not receptive. This is the love that culminated in God giving EVERYTHING through the sacrifice of His perfect Son, Jesus, to redeem all of us who are so imperfect. It is the love of a Father Who knows the horrid things hidden in our boxes, and chooses to never use them against us.

What David describes in this Psalm is the love of God so compelling that he cannot help but love God in return. “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17) His understanding of the character of God left him ravenous for more. He also understood that his container of deep secrets was already known to God, and only served as a barrier to the intimate relationship with God that his heart desired. So, he courageously prayed, “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.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

How many of us love God enough to pray that scary prayer and dump our boxes at His feet?