King David writes in Psalm 26:2-3, “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and mind; for Your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in Your Truth.”
Why would David hang himself out there like that? The Apostle Paul said of people, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Ro 3:10) That statement merely confirms what I already knew was lurking deep in my heart and mind. For the most part, I go to great lengths to cover it up, ignore it, or compensate for it the best I can. I definitely don’t walk continually in God’s Truth. But David is asking the Lord Who knows our hearts and minds to expose and reveal them. Is it because he is not guilty? Or, is it because he is?
David had an intimate relationship with God that was unparalleled in his day. Through most of his actions, David demonstrated he had knowledge of God’s law. But his knowledge of God went much deeper – it was the type of understanding that comes only from spending time with that person. God’s unfathomable Love bridged the gap between God as Spirit, and David as flesh. Hundreds of years later, through the ultimate expression of love – Jesus dying for our sins in our place – Jesus universally bridged the Holiness of God and the carnal condition of man, giving us the same access.
If David’s heart-cry for God to test and examine him is scary to us, could it be because we don’t truly know the depth of God’s love and/or the reality of His absolute Truth? Even as David spent time with God, developing intimacy between Jesus and us requires dedicated time and effort: reading and meditating on God’s Word, AND spending time with Jesus by talking and listening to Him. Unfortunately, we find many excuses for not having the time.
That is where the grace of God will allow our depravity to be exposed through trials, hardships and crises. Without coming face-to-face with our personal darkness, we can never fully appreciate the enormity of the miracle of absolution we’ve received. Jesus said of the sinful woman crying at His feet, wetting His feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:47) Love that does not give us what we deserve elicits love in return.
David knew exactly what he was saying. The question for us is whether we want intimacy with Jesus, plus the freedom that comes with it, enough to ask Him to expose what we’ve desperately tried to hide.