LORD, You Have Searched My Life and Know

LORD, you have searched my life and know

Versifier: Calvin Seerveld (1985)
Tune: LEICESTER (Bishop)
Published in 2 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI
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Versifier: Calvin Seerveld

Calvin Seerveld (b. 1930) was professor of aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto from 1972 until he retired in 1995. Educated at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the University of Michigan; and the Free University of Amsterdam (Ph.D.), he also studied at Basel University in Switzerland, the University of Rome, and the University of Heidelberg. Seerveld began his career by teaching at Bellhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi (1958-1959), and at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois (1959-1972). A fine Christian scholar, fluent in various biblical and modern languages, he is published widely in aesthetics, biblical studies, and philosophy. His books include Take Hold of God and Pull (1966), The Gr… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: LORD, you have searched my life and know
Title: LORD, You Have Searched My Life and Know
Versifier: Calvin Seerveld (1985)
Language: English
Copyright: © Calvin Seerveld


A prayer for God's thorough examination.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-6
st. 2 = vv. 7-12
st. 3 = vv. 13-18
st. 4 = vv. 19-24

Psalm 139 is a profound prayer asking God to examine the psalmist's heart. It recognizes God's intimate knowledge of our lives, even before birth. It expresses as nowhere else how awesome it is to lay oneself open to God's full scrutiny. I open myself to your searching eye, O God, says the psalmist; you know everyone of my thoughts, words, and deeds (st. 1). There is no hiding from you (st. 2). You put me together in the womb; you know me far better than I know myself (st. 3). My zeal for you sets me against all who are against you; search me, teach me, and lead me (st. 4). Perhaps the author's loyalty to the LORD has been put under suspicion, which makes him long for God's vindication. Or, being zealous for the LORD (vv. 19-22), yet knowing the deviousness of every heart, does the psalmist want God to root out "any offensive way" in order to be led "in the way everlasting" (v. 24)? Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) versified this psalm in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
During periods of self-examination such as Advent, Lent, and preparation for the Lord's Supper; during services focusing on the work of the Spirit (st. 1-2).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



John Bishop (b. England, 1665; d. Winchester, England, 1737) was lay vicar at King's College, Cambridge, England, in 1687. From 1695 to 1737 he served as organist at Winchester College and in 1697 was appointed lay clerk. He was also an organist at Winchester Cathedral. In 1710 or 1711, Bishop publi…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #139
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

Christian Worship #139C

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #139

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