“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!“
Compare the times King David asks for victory, favor, forgiveness of his sins, and grief for a friend/ enemy/ son. There is a common ingredient in his pleas to God about such issues. We may not read as it is written but just reading these parts of his life would lead us into realization what may be missing in our own prayer life that King David had so ingrained in his life of worship, much like a trademark.
The weeping is all too common in his life. Even in Psalms 139, there is something in there that leads me to believe he was weeping as he pleads for God’s searching touch and leading hand. He was searching for satisfaction in those verses and in the end something is just lacking. But unlike us he had not ask “what else Lord?” but laid it all to God who can see all hearts. The weeping is not at all weeping in grief only but more so weeping in the knowledge that even though greatness comes to man he would still be helpless before God. Notice verses 9- 10; “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall hold me.” No matter what greatness we shall attain in life, the truth is we shall forever depend on the mercy and love of God.
David in his weeping appeals shows to us there is not a lie in a broken spirit. As he sings in Psalms 51: 17, “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit…” Man may con others with his weeping but no man can do it to God. Offenders adapt the “in- denial” posture saying “you can search me with tears down their eyes” when confronted of their infractions not knowing all their actions have been duly recorded on closed circuit TV. For David, it was a posture of “non- denial”. He knows that God knows all and so he applied it to his heart letting the Lord search what else is still residing in his heart and to be taken by the hand to righteousness.
Today it applies to us all. Many times we would mention Him our sins specifying all that wrong we would want to blot out of His remembrance. But even then, there are in the dark corners of our hearts that God is awaiting for us to mention- those we have kept on justifying to be right in His eyes. We then must take the mold of David to invite the Lord to reveal those things and weep in the ensuing conviction.
In addition, the Lord says in John 4: 23, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth”. This New Testament passage echoes to me the message of Psalm 139 in that David’s weeping still has a better revelation. We cannot possibly do today what David does in his weeping moments, tearing his clothes and pouring ashes in his face. For us today, David’s weeping means sacrifice in our prayer or worship. Couple of times, the inmate groups I have met for this particular study are at a lost how sacrifice comes in our worship. Further discussion leads us all to the fact that we do not worship like stones but to a point that others will think we our insane. Worship will make us forego what “title” we have managed to attached in our names i.e. sir, madam, honorable etc. In a sense, we will “broke” ourselves in coming to God, that is, during worship or prayer.
The Lord had not taken away the value of sacrifice in worship or prayer life when He said “For I desire steadfast love (or mercy) and not sacrifice…” (Psalm 40: 6; Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9: 13). There seems to be appoint in the the life of the ancient Israelites when sacrifices had been devoid of the heart and truthfulness. It had become mere ceremonial where no loss is apparent in that which was given up and where nothing is made sacred. In fact, the Lord was bringing us back to the basic of worship- Him and a truthful heart. There is nothing in between! To top it all, we can all look up to the cross and fully appreciate where sacrifice is in our prayer or worship. By putting in the center of it all the Lord Jesus Christ- the Way, the Truth and the Life- we could truly make our worship spiritual.
The “true worshipers” will be left at the mercy of the judgment of this world, which will be their sacrifice because worship is a spiritual activity, a heavenly spectacle. Those in the outside may despise them, like how Michal the daughter of King Saul did to David (2 Samuel 6: 16), but in that place where worship is unceasing (Revelations 4: 8- 11) the response will be beyond imagination.
Thus, we can go leaping and dancing before the Lord, singing spiritual hymns, weeping in prayer, giving for ministry, kneeling in humble submission- but, are we sacrificing? Search me, O God.
Lastly, where is the Lamb of God in all our worship or prayer life?