“But, O Lord of hosts, You who test the righteous, And see the mind and heart” (Jeremiah 20:12 NKJV).


Jeremiah cried out to God, proclaiming Him as the One who tests and sees the mind and heart of man. Jeremiah was under constant attack by his brethren for the prophecies the Lord gave him to preach. His plea to the Lord was that his enemies’ motives would be tested and seen as sinful and rebellious, whereas his were sincere and true. He knew that only the Lord could truly test and see the mind and heart of man.
This stands in contrast to the wisdom of the ancient philosophers, who taught, “Know thyself.” Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius advised his son, “This above all: To thine own self be true.”
This seems wise advice. Our lives deserve examination. But self-examination is faulty and fallen. The autonomous assessment is too subjective. The sinner is blind to his own sin. Jeremiah knew this. Earlier he had written, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).
Yet Jeremiah appealed to the Lord whose judgment is perfect. Jeremiah prayed to the Lord who tests and sees our hearts and minds. Rather than praying “know thyself,” his prayer was more like, “know thy God that He might reveal thyself.”
PRAYER: Dear Father, we lay our hearts and minds open before You this morning. Test us to see if there is any grievous way in us. Examine our anxious thoughts. We take every thought captive to obey Christ. Transform our thinking that we might have the mind of Christ in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.