Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We cannot hide our sin

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.   Psalm 139: 23, 24

As I read this text, I ask myself, do I pray this with heartfelt intent? Do I truly desire God to dig down into the inner chambers of my heart and reveal what lies lurking in those chambers? If I am of Christ, I must ask sincerely for this to be done. Let's look at some commentary on this text, starting with C.H. Spurgeon...


David is no accomplice with traitors. He has disowned them in set form, and now he appeals to God that he does not harbour a trace of fellowship with them. He will have God himself search him, and search him thoroughly, till every point of his being is known, and read, and understood; for he is sure that even by such an investigation there will be found in him no complicity with wicked men. He challenges the fullest investigation, the innermost search: he had need be a true man who can put himself deliberately into such a crucible. Yet we may each one desire such searching; for it would be a terrible calamity to us for sin to remain in our hearts unknown and undiscovered. 
“Try me, and know my thoughts.” Exercise any and every test upon me. By fire and by water let me be examined. Read not alone the desires of my heart, but the fugitive thoughts of my head. Know with all-penetrating knowledge all that is or has been in the chambers of my mind. What a mercy that there is one being who can know us to perfection! He is intimately at home with us. He is graciously inclined towards us, and is willing to bend his omniscience to serve the end of our sanctification. Let us pray as David did, and let us be as honest as he. We cannot hide our sin: salvation lies the other way, in a plain discovery of evil, and an effectual severance from it.
“And see if there be any wicked way in me.” See whether there be in my heart, or in my life, any evil habit unknown to myself. If there be such an evil way, take me from it, take it from me. No matter how dear the wrong may have become, nor how deeply prejudiced I may have been in its favour, be pleased to deliver me there from altogether, effectually, and at once, that I may tolerate nothing which is contrary to thy mind. As I hate the wicked in their way, so would I hate every wicked way in myself. “And lead me in the way everlasting.” If thou hast introduced me already to the good old way, be pleased to keep me in it, and conduct me further and further along it. It is a way which thou hast set up of old, it is based upon everlasting principles, and it is the way in which immortal spirits will gladly run for ever and ever. There will be no end to it world without end. It lasts for ever, and they who are in it last for ever. Conduct me into it, O Lord, and conduct me throughout the whole length of it. By thy providence, by thy word, by thy grace, and by thy Spirit, lead me evermore.  C.H. Spurgeon

“Lord, I hope I am not in a wicked way, but see if there be any wicked way in me, any corrupt inclination remaining; let me see it; and root it out of me, for I do not allow it.” M Henry

And see if there be any wicked way in me - Margin, “way of pain,” or “grief.” The Hebrew word properly means an image, an idol Isa_48:5, but it also means pain, 1Ch_4:9; Isa_14:3. The word in the form used here does not occur elsewhere. Gesenius (Lexicon) renders it here idol-worship. DeWette, “way of idols.” Prof. Alexander, “way of pain.” The Septuagint and Vulgate, “way of iniquity.” So Luther. The Syriac, “way of falsehood.” Rosenmuller, “way of an idol.” According to this, the prayer is that God would search him and see if there was anything in him that partook of the nature of idolatry, or of defection from the true religion; any tendency to go back from God, to worship other gods, to leave the worship of the true God. As idolatry comprehends the sum of all that is evil, as being alienation from the true God, the prayer is that there might be nothing found in his heart which tended to alienate him from God - would indicate unfaithfulness or want of attachment to him.  A. Barnes

And see if there be any wicked way in me,.... Not that David thought himself free from wickedness, or that there was none to be found in his heart and life; and therefore said this in a boasting way, he knew otherwise; see Psa_19:12; but he is desirous it might be thoroughly looked into and seen whether there was any such wicked way in him he was charged with; as that he had a design upon the life of Saul, and to seize his throne and kingdom, which never entered into his mind, 1Sa_24:9. Or, "any way of grief" (d); what tended to wound and grieve his own soul, or to grieve the hearts of God's people; or to grieve the Holy Spirit of God; and which he ought to grieve for and repent of: suggesting, that upon the first conviction he was ready to relinquish any such wicked way, and express his abhorrence of it, and testify true repentance for it. Some render it, "the way of an idol" (e); because a word from the same root signifies an idol: every carnal lust in a man's heart is an idol; and whatsoever engrosses the affections, or has more of them than God himself has, or is preferred to him, is, preferred to him, Eze_14:4.   J. Gill

 We ought to be much concerned to know whether we do not live in a state of sin. All unregenerate men live in sin. We are born under the power and dominion of sin, are sold under sin. Every unconverted sinner is a devoted servant to sin and Satan. We should look upon it as of the greatest importance to us, to know in what state we are, whether we ever had any change made in our hearts from sin to holiness, or whether we be not still in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity; whether ever sin were truly mortified in us; whether we do not live in the sin of unbelief, and in the rejection of the Savior. This is what the apostle insists upon with the Corinthians. 2 Cor. 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves; know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Those who entertain the opinion and hope of themselves, that they are godly, should take great care to see that their foundation be right. Those that are in doubt should not give themselves rest till the matter be resolved.  Jonathan Edwards


I pray to be fervent and, as J. Edwards states, 'not give themselves rest till the matter be resolved'. We are commanded to mortify sin {Col. 3}, this should be a continual process as long as we are on this earth. May God mercifully remind us of this great need for the remainder of our time here. 



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