The Lord Considers the Heart
I continue my walk through Proverbs with my friend John. Yesterday, I spent time with Proverbs 21.
The LORD Considers the Heart
1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD,In the days of Kings, the state of a King’s heart probably had more direct impact on people’s lives than any other feature of their environment. It must have seemed in those days that there was no rhyme or reason to the whims of the king. Like rivers of water, the King’s demands or edicts could turn or circle, or even reverse upon their course.
Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
For the chosen people, God was prepared to respond. Too often, His people rebelled or ignored the warnings of the prophets. But even in the midst of their uncertainty and disappointments, God tells us here that wherever He leads, the king’s heart will follow.
This is echoed in Isaiah 45, where God proclaims that He will rise up and exalt Cyrus, who will be used in God’s purpose for the sake of Israel:
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.
5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,
6 so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
God has often used those who do not acknowledge Him or His sovereignty. Even those who acknowledge Him, can stray from His will as their hearts and minds follow other leanings. We are all imperfect vessels for His will, and but we are all a part of His divine purposes. As we struggle with opportunities and threats, challenges and trials, God weighs our hearts. He knows our motivations, our past, present and future.
This is confirmed in Proverbs 21:
2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,Many of us can make the mistake of focusing more on sacrifices and observances for God, and lose sight of the promptings of the heart that are central to His purposes. He wants our commitment to Him. He wants us to be a part justice, righteous in our words and deeds.
But the LORD weighs the hearts.
3To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the plowing of the wicked are sin.
When we harden our hearts, or when our hearts are too full of ourselves to have much room for Him, or when we dismiss or devalue others, the fruit of our hearts and our behavior will inevitably grieve God from our sin.