(Psalms 17:3) “Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”
Continuing this series of devotions on God’s Judgment… In our third devotion, David continues to state his purity of heart before God; in which his heart had been prepared by God to receive the sentence from God. The truth of the matter is that no person can stand before God in complete purity, except the person’s standing (or position) be “in Christ”; which means that the person is “Justified” by the Work of the Atonement of Christ on the Cross (Rom. 3:24-25). The term “Justified” means to be “declared Righteous.” This position of Righteousness, or Perfection, or Purity, before God can only be understood and experienced by the sinner as he comes to the “understanding” (1 Jn. 5:20: Rom. 8:14-16) that Christ is his personal Sacrifice for his sin debt (Eph. 1:7); his personal Substitute for the penalty and punishment of his sin (2 Cor. 5:21); and his personal Savior from the power and practice of his sin (Rom 5:1-2).
David is – not for God’s benefit, but for his own – putting forth his statements here in verse three. To help facilitate the reader’s understanding of David’s presentation in this verse, note the following outline:
1). “Thou hast proved mine heart;”
David says this to God – again, not for God’s benefit, for God knows all things, even the content of every heart in man – but, David is making a confession of what he has experienced by God. David is saying, ‘I know this is a fact, that God, You have proved me.’ Proof of something is the result that comes from the action.
God’s actions to and on the believer proves, or tries, the heart of His people. The result of God’s actions in the trial is that the child of God would know his own heart. God uses various and sundry ways to prove, or try, the hearts of the believer such as adversity (as He did with Abraham and Job); by prosperity (as He did to the children of Israel (Deut. 8:2); by mercy, by suffering false prophets in the land (Deut. 13:3), by the flesh that dwells within (Jud 2:22); even chastisement (Heb. 12:5-11). God used many trials, etc. to give David himself knowledge, by experience, that he was a child of God, and that God was his Salvation and security.
2). “thou hast visited me in the night”
That is, in the night of affliction, or of the believer’s trial. When the believer is in self-justification of the ‘why’ he is in the present difficulty (as was Job); when the believer is in the accuse mode of others for his plight – then God visits the believer’s spirit in “the valley of the shadow of death,” and reveals the sufficiency of God to His child (Ps. 23:1-6), as God did David many, many times. God visits the believer in giving the believer comfort, support, and wisdom in the hour of trial; those sustain the believer through his valley of proving.
3). “thou hast tried me,”
That is, God tried David in the furnace of fire; wherein he was purified, as silver and gold tried in the fire are purified. So, as referenced above, God uses adversity and affliction of many types to purify His servants, and to cause them to have witness in their spirit as to they are in Christ and Who Christ is to them.
1). “and shalt find nothing”
That is, David said to God, “In trying me, You found not my faultiness, or my iniquity; but, what You found is The Righteousness of God covered me.’ Again, it is not what God needed to find; but, what David needed to know about the purity of God wherein he stood because of the Righteousness of God covering him in the Work of Jesus Christ.
True, as long as the believer is in the flesh, sin dwells in his flesh (Rom. 7:14-24) and in his “old man” he cannot say, “and shalt find nothing”; but, in Christ, the believer stands in the Righteousness of Christ. He has been made a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17); he has been made a “new man” (Col. 3:1-4; Eph. 4:24); he has been given a “new will,” or a new desire, to please Christ in body, soul and spirit (Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 6:9-20; Eph. 2:10; 1 Jn. 3:1-24; 4:7-21). Therefore, “in Christ” there is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1; 1 Peter 2:22).
1). “I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”
Based upon David’s knowledge of who he was in the Righteousness of God, and because of the experience of God’s grace in his spirit, he proclaimed, “I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” That is, ‘I have purposed not to complain with my mouth against God, and His actions of proving to me through fiery trials of my standing of Righteousness in Him and because of Him. Nor will I sin with my mouth because of the false charges and false accusations of my enemies, for I know who I am in Christ and in His Salvation and of His Security.’ (Read Ps. 37:1-40.)
Child of God, there is nothing greater than knowing by experience who God is to you, and who you are to God (1 Jn. 5:20). The rest and peace that flow from this knowledge and experience “passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). For this “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” With this knowledge and experience nothing can ultimately hurt you, or ever separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:29-39). You cannot buy this knowledge and experience of who you are in God, you cannot earn this truth; for it is a “gift of Grace” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Knowing of your Salvation and Security in Christ; then, let (Psalms 17:1-3) be your Statement and Praise today.