Psalm 139:19-24

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain.[b]
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
    I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts![c]
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting![d]


Have you ever felt sick with despair for the evil you see in the world?  We see and hear of anger, violence, and suffering that swirls through our neighborhoods and nations, and we long to be rid of it once and for all.  We hate it especially at the extremities where those who have little to no choice in the matter face the grim consequences of the sins of others.  But just as David did in the final two verses of this Psalm, we must start by looking into our own hearts and recognizing the ways, large and small, we are complicit.  We can eventually become blind and numb to the suffering of others when we believe that its causes lie entirely outside of ourselves.  Allowing God to search us, we find the seeds of every sin buried deep in our own habits and thoughts.  So like David we must plead with God that He "search us and know our hearts".  We can counter this by humbly asking God to make us right so that through us He will make the world around us right.


How can we allow God to search us and know our hearts?


God, we confess that when we see the ills of our world we sometimes fail to see our part in their existence.  Examine our hearts.  Show us, up close, whether our familiar paths are everlasting or temporal.  Wean us away from selfish and self-centered thoughts and desires.  Prepare us for the time when you will give us the opportunity to enter into the suffering of others.  Help us to face the truth about those we find hard to love and the reasons why.