The capabilities of modern medicine to visualize the inside of our bodies is astounding.
We’ve come a long way since the accidental discovery of X-Rays around the turn of the twentieth century. Today about 75 million people a year get a computed tomography (CT) scan. It combines x-rays with computer imaging, slicing the body into minute cross-sections and displaying them on a computer screen. Oftentimes a contrasting dye is used to help diagnose an injury or disease.
When your doctor needs to get down to the molecular level though, a PET scan will be ordered. PET stands for “Positron Emission Tomography,” and uses a radioactive substance that is traced by a special camera. Because it can identify individual molecules, a PET scan can measure metabolism, blood flow and even the level of oxygenation in the blood.
But image fusion gives your doctor the ability to superimpose the CT scan over the PET scan, giving your medical team an incredibly effective eye into your body’s minutest operations.
And none of that even comes close to what today’s verse shows us:
I, THE LORD, SEARCH ALL HEARTS AND EXAMINE SECRET MOTIVES
King David’s prayer to God inviting Him to search his heart is recorded for us in Psalm 139. He asked God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, know my anxious thoughts; see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me into life everlasting.”
God is the heart searcher.
More powerful and comprehensive than any medical scan, He sees the state of our heart, knowing our very thoughts, motives and intentions. Constant, His scan of our hearts never ceases. Since God is by definition all-knowing, He always knows the up-to-the-microsecond status of our innermost being.
I, THE LORD, SEARCH ALL HEARTS
This is not a functional evaluation of the body’s pump. It is a relentless examination of our moral state, revealing to God’s impeccable wisdom every invisible element of our soul and spirit.
But not just ours. He searches ALL HEARTS. And so He knows each person in creation with that same incredible clarity and depth. He who searches all hearts sees the spirit of all His creation – human and angelic. There is no use in offering any phony prayer to Him who searches our hearts, any pretended piety is unmasked before Him. There’s no way to fool God, even if we manage to fool ourselves.
And that is the value of King David’s prayer.
I, THE LORD, SEARCH ALL HEARTS AND EXAMINE SECRET MOTIVES
It would be another 500 years or so before the prophet Jeremiah would write it in his prophetic book, but David already knew that our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. He knew that his heart could soar to the heavens on the praises of God’s immense glory, rising above the cares of the world and even the threats of his enemies. But he also knew it was capable of luring him to the deepest and vilest depths, making him capable of lust, adultery, lies and murder.
David knew. And, if we are honest, so do you and I.
Our hearts may deceive us, and can even convince us of many things that are in opposition to God’s word. But those things are traps, and will lead us to death as surely as an unchecked cancer. Your deceitful heart may persuade you that your spouse is no longer loveable and that divorce is the best option. It is not. Your desperately wicked heart may convince you that your same-sex relationships are not destroying your very capacity to enjoy true love in a healthy and righteous manner. But that, too, is a lie.
Yet even when our own hearts deceive us, God searches our hearts, reveals our secret motives, and can lead us from darkness to light, from death to life. Not only can He see if there be any hurtful way hiding within you, He is able to lead you into life everlasting.
You never want to hear your oncologist report that you have cancer. But if he must say them, you want the next words out of his mouth to be, “but we caught it very early, and we can treat it.”
Catching sin’s seeds early, before they can take deep root in your heart, THAT is how you want to deal with it. God searches our hearts, and reveals it all. Give it all to Him, invite His examination and listen to his diagnosis. The greatest value in a physical examination is to identify issues BEFORE they become life-threatening.
This is why King David counseled his son Solomon and told him to serve God willingly, to serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind. David told his son that the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. The prescription of the Great Physician is to seek Him; to serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind.
I, THE LORD, SEARCH ALL HEARTS AND EXAMINE SECRET MOTIVES. I GIVE ALL PEOPLE THEIR DUE REWARDS, ACCORDING TO WHAT THEIR HEARTS DESERVE.
If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.
When your heart decides to seek God, He will lead you. He will give you the due reward of seeking Him. That is the goal of The Heart Searcher. God is searching for hearts that will yield to Him. And He will reward them — WITH HIMSELF. His very presence living within your heart, bringing life and health, wholeness and purity.
But for those who refuse to seek Him, they too will receive their due rewards. The ones who seek distance from God will find it. Those who insist that their way is proper and right in spite of His Word will be allowed to pursue it even as it eats them alive from the inside out. Due rewards.
By far the best image fusion is to allow His image – pure and holy – to overlay ours. To bring His heart within us, conforming us to His image. That process does more than report the status of the scan, it changes and heals it from within.
And The Heart Searcher knows precisely where and how to do it.
I, THE LORD, SEARCH ALL HEARTS AND EXAMINE SECRET MOTIVES.
I GIVE ALL PEOPLE THEIR DUE REWARDS, ACCORDING TO WHAT THEIR HEARTS DESERVE.