God, if only You would kill the wicked (stay away from me, you bloodthirsty men) who invoke You deceitfully. Your enemies swear [by You] falsely. Lord, don’t I hate those who hate You, and detest those who rebel against You? I hate them with extreme hatred; I consider them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139 vv. 19-24).
Piano tuning is a fine art. A piano has three strings for each tone. If the instrument is flat, the strings must be tightened; if it is sharp, the strings must be loosened. The piano tuner always has a point of reference—”A-440”— using either a tuning fork or an electronic device called a strobe tuner. But he also depends on his ear—perfect pitch or good relative pitch—and a thorough acquaintance with harmonic intervals.
After cataloging the sins of God’s enemies, who are consequently his as well, David focuses on himself. Unlike those who “misuse” the name of the Lord, David prays, voluntarily submitting himself to God’s tuning fork: “Search me’; “Test me”; “See if there is any offensive way in me” (vv. 23-24). In effect, he is saying: “Lord, let me know if my life is out of tune!”
As is true so many times in Psalms, David meets trouble with an expression of faith in the nature of God. He is both infinite and personal, transcendent and immanent—far above to watch over us yet within to guide us. He knows how it feels to be human because he came in the flesh and walked where we walk (John 1:1, 14).
David finds a deep wellspring of comfort and serenity in these harmonious attributes.
As the tuning fork is applied to my life, I can “hear” the flat keys. The Master Tuner may have to tighten the strings, thus producing temporary pain and stress. But the final result will be a beautifully voiced instrument of praise, fit for a heavenly concerto!
O Lord, let me know if my life is out of tune! Search me, test me, and check me out. I long to sing and play in perfect harmony with your plan!