In Psalm 139, David proclaims:
“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
The Bible points to David as a model – not of a man who trusted in his own righteousness – but one who trusted in God’s forgiveness:
“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”Romans 4:6-8
It’s in that light that we need to read his prayer in Psalm 139.
As one man commented on these verses: “David closes not with pride, but with humility. He recognizes that without forgiveness, he too would fall under the wrath of a holy God. David circles back to the beginning of the psalm and asks that the Lord would use his knowledge of David to cleanse him from every evil way which would lead him away from God.”
David never thought he would be blessed because of his own righteousness. He knew that he would be blessed only through the forgiveness won for him by the greatest Son of David, Jesus Christ.
So when you stand before God what will you point to in your defense? Will you point to your own righteous character or Christ’s righteousness? When it comes to being worthy and acceptable to God, the only righteousness that stands is Christ’s righteousness.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.“Romans 3:20-24
What will be your defense? I pray that the only evidence you will present will be Jesus’ righteousness. Everything else, especially pointing to your character, will ruin your defense and result not in praise but condemnation. David placed all his hope in the coming Savior. Because of that, in spite of all his sins, he now is living and will live for all eternity in Heavenly Father’s glorious presence. Place all your hopes in Jesus and you too will spend eternity with God.
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Additional Questions You Might Have
Are there different levels of sin?
The American legal system has an extensive classification of crimes. But the Bible doesn’t do that in regard to sin.