Do we really want God to know our heart? The concluding words of Psalm 139 are some of the most challenging in Scripture. David wrote it when he had formed a most intimate relationship with God, and declares, “How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you” (verses 17,18).

David’s meditations are insightful; he had a sense of being with God and God being with him. How personal is his closing appeal to the Almighty, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” But that leading by God comes at a price – the surrender of self and our human inclinations – to God’s leading.

David knew Leviticus 26. The first 13 verses list all the blessings to come on the nation if they would serve their God who has delivered them from slavery in Egypt. “I will make my dwelling among you”, says God, “I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (verses 11,12). David was leading the people to do this. He would have fallen asleep in death convinced that his son Solomon would complete what he had begun in making the nation, God’s people. His Psalm explains a key factor in serving God – observing God’s laws – must be followed by an attitude of heart and mind that achieves a personal relationship with Him.

Sadly, the rest of Leviticus 26 details the actions of God when there is a failure to obey His laws, which came true for most who journeyed to the promised land under Moses. Our awareness of Him and His laws are vital for our eternal health: they are summed up in the words of Jesus in Luke 9:62. “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Our innermost thoughts as we prayerfully read God’s word each day will keep us looking forward.