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.
Read: Psalm 139
Psalter versification: 69:2
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.