146. Praying To Bring About A Better World. Psalm 139:23-24

What a different world it would be! If world and church leaders had prayed sincerely “Search me O God!” This is the prayer of King David at the end of Psalm 139. In recent blogs we have looked at this Psalm and its relevance for today. We discovered for example that God is the God who searches everything and everyone and nothing is hidden from Him. He knows all about us. When for example, people say they are atheists, He knows why they think that. He knows when the deception took place in their lives. He has a description for them in His word. He declared through King David in Psalm 14:1 and in Psalm 53:1, The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Their foolishness is described in the following verses, Psalm 14:2  The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Corruption is indeed a characteristic of leadership in many nations today. It is always a temptation to those in positions of power to misuse their power for personal gain.

 When leaders do not seek after God for wisdom in how to lead, they inevitably bring difficulties to the people they are meant to lead. That is one of the meanings of Psalm 14:4, Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the LORD? That was a strange expression, to eat up my people. We see its meaning in verses such as Isaiah 3:14-15, and Proverbs 30:14. (See Note 1 below) The leaders among God’s people had misused their power and had made life very difficult for His people. The leaders were responsible and were accountable to Him.

God was saying through David in Psalm 14 that those who reject Him are fools. They make foolish decisions that impact negatively upon the people under their care. One could look at many national leaders in today’s world, even among the western nations, and say that is true of them. Unfortunately one could also look at some church leaders who have led their people away from God’s revealed truth and brought spiritual famine and financial poverty to them. Often through unwise decisions contrary to God’s revealed will.

What a difference it would make for world and church leaders to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God and to pray those words in Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (See Note 2 below.) If they did pray in this way, He would do some searching. He would do some revealing to them of what He saw. He would make it possible for people to recognise their sins, to repent of them and to turn to Him for forgiveness and for wisdom. What blessings would flow to those under their care if leaders turned to the Lord for the wisdom they need. Until they do, nations and churches suffer. Immensely! Unnecessarily! God is not glorified by the foolish decisions of foolish leaders who rely on their own wisdom and not on God’s.

For those who would like to know more about the meaning of Psalm 139 for today, I have two ways for you to obtain this information. In my previous articles (blogs) I have concentrated on this Psalm in articles numbered 139 to 145. So you can find them in previous blogs on this site. Since then I have put much of the content of these articles in a Kindle eBook. It is called “The Searching God Who Knows And Cares.” This can be downloaded inexpensively onto any Kindle application on a computer, iPad, Kindle, or Android tablet. It is found in the Amazon Kindle store. While talking about the need for humility you might also like to look at another Kindle eBook I published recently in the Kindle Store which is based on the Epistle to the Philippians. It is called, “The Godly Response To True Humility”. It has an outline and teaching on the whole epistle. It has also some real-life stories for encouragement. It too is inexpensive to download. The connection between them is that humble people are open to God’s scrutiny and correction. The proud who have no time for God have disqualified themselves from receiving His wisdom.

Just a reminder though. It is not only leaders who need to humble themselves to pray the prayer in Psalm 139. We all need to pray it. Otherwise we will miss out on His blessing. So too will all those whom God wants to bless through us. So don’t be selfish. Pray the prayer and see what God does for you and then through you to His glory.

Psalm 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

 Note 1. Isaiah 3:14-15, The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: “It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses. 15 What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord GOD of hosts. The elders and princes of the nation had violated their responsibilities for personal gain. God’s people had been robbed! By their leaders! God knew!

Proverbs 30:14 There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind. The leaders had despoiled and tried to destroy the people. God knew!

Note 2. We see in verse 24 that “grievous” (otseb) has other meanings such as “lawlessness”, “iniquity”, “hurtful”, offensive, “wicked”, “worship of false gods”. Another translation puts it simply, “anything in my life You don’t like.”

Blog No 146. Jim Holbeck. Posted Sunday 16th March 2014


About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
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