There are times when frightening experiences, or the hearing of some very sad news, hits us in the pit of our stomachs. At least that is the way we today, and in our country, explain the emotions we experience when we are frightened or given sad news. The Israelites, however, in the days of David would say that they felt it in their kidneys. And that is why David wrote in Psalm 26:2, 3: "Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For Thy lovingkindness is before my eyes: and I have walked in Thy truth." The "reins" here is in the Hebrew the word "kidneys."
What David is doing here is praying to God that He will vindicate him before false accusers by trying, that is, testing his kidneys and heart. He asks the sole Judge of The Supreme Court to examine him, knowing that from His eyes is absolutely nothing hidden. He is sure that God will find that, instead of enjoying these sins of which he is falsely accused, he is stricken by them with pain in his kidneys, and that his heart has by no means chosen to do these evil deeds.
Our versification puts it this way:
O search me, Lord, and prove me now;
Thy mercy I adore;
I choose Thy truth to be my guide,
And sinful ways abhor.
His heart chose to keep God's law, and sin strikes him in his kidneys. These sins of which he is accused he actually abhors. The evil of which he is accused was not chosen by his heart.
David is not here concerned about his name or honor, even though these are important, since he is king over God's people in Israel. But he prays because he wants to be pleasing in God's sight. He wants to be judged to be a faithful child of God by God Himself.
That should also be our concern. What men think of us is not that important. What they call us is not so serious. What God finds in the innermost recesses of our souls, what hurts us and what we choose, is extremely important. If God finds the life of Christ in us, we have reason to rejoice and can stand the false accusations of men.
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 233
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
"The point that ought to be understood is that this changed law is made necessary by the change of the priesthood. As the priesthood is, so is the law! For the law is based upon the priesthood! This is a matter of necessity. The term necessity means in the Latin: that which cannot cease. It is from ‘ne-cesso’: that which has in it a quality which cannot be stopped. The term in the Greek language is ‘anagkees’ which is derived from the verb ‘anaykizoo’ to force, to demonstrate, to prove. And thus is the case here. The law must be changed when the priesthood is changed, because upon this priesthood the people receive the law. The entire legality and sanction of the law rested upon this Levitical-Aaronitic priesthood. This is not a mere logical necessity, based upon logical demonstration of a man-made premise. On the contrary, this is a necessity which follows from the God-ordained connection between priesthood and law as revealed by God Himself concerning the Mystery of salvation. One has but to study carefully this matter in the Old Testament to see that this is implied in the very structure of the law-giving itself through Moses" George Lubbers (The Glory of the True Tabernacle, p. 190).
- Date: 21-December