You desire truth      11.  Truth

You desire truth in the inward being. . . “     – Psalm 51:6a

“I only want the truth.”  I think I can hear my mother saying that to me as a child.   Maybe it involved a   baseball and some broken glass.  Maybe I had answered a bit too tentatively as to whether I had really  completed my piano practice.  Or perhaps there was just something else that needed to be cleared up.  Maybe you can remember a time when you were confronted with a request for the truth.

We have shifted in Psalm 51 from the litany of sinfulness to now a stretch that focuses on what God wants and the psalmist’s requests of God.  “You desire truth in the inward being.”  If you’re wondering what this means, you know by now that you can get a quick clue by looking at part B of the verse that comes next.

But on it’s own, this verse fragment suggests that God seeks an inner integrity from us and faithfulness.  You may have heard someone refer to “their truth” — which speaks to that person’s inner compass, their ultimate conviction.

The New Testament spends a good time on Truth — although unequally across the gospels.  The gospel of Matthew references ’truth’ once.   Mark — twice.  Luke — three times.  But then the gospel of John speaks of ’truth’ 26 times.   The disciple Thomas, like many of the disciples, at times struggled with the truth.  (Unlike the others, Thomas was perhaps unfairly branded with that ’doubting’ tag that has dogged him through history.)  When Jesus mentioned that he would be going somewhere, Thomas piped up,”Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”   To which Jesus famously replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”  (John 14:6)

Later in this Lenten season, we will follow Jesus to that moment of confrontation when Jesus stands before Pilate:   Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”    Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”  (John 18:37-38)

What is truth?  What is your truth?  What is the gospel truth?


Dear God,

As we continue on the Lenten road, lead us to your truth.  And help us to frame and shape our lives around this truth which takes greatest expression in the our Lord and Savior.