Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 20:5 The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. 6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?
How do you know what’s in a person... no, not what they had for breakfast and not blood and bones and stuff under the skin... but whats in a persons soul and character, what do they stand for, what kind of person they are?
Solomon gives us a prime example of how to gauge another person. I want to touch on this judging others idea. Don’t get me wrong, the bible teaches us not to judge others… and yet another place it tells us to judge others. So there is undeniably a context for doing both. We need to make judgments every day for example to what degree we trust people with things like our finances and babysitters for our children. We make judgments of who we want our pastor to be and what church our family attends based on things like whether they preach the truth of Gods word. In fact it is Gods word that is the basis for our judgments in life… It should be. We let Gods word interpret people. But these are not final judgments on people… only God can do that… We cannot know a persons heart… We are limited to our knowledge of these things. We do not know all the things that have gone into their life decisions… Only God does. And sadly much of the time we make judgments based on a look someone gives us or a word spoken in haste or some other thing with hardly any substance while we only have maybe a microcosm of a percentage of knowledge… Many times we make judgements solely from gossip we hear.
In order to judge in the context God wants we must know Gods word and let it guide us or else we will judge others just like the world does.
Solomon tells us how mans heart is like deep water and he says there are many who state that their love is sure and trustworthy... he does not tell us the context of that love... maybe to his spouse or his child or maybe it’s a commitment he has pledged to a boss or friend saying to them “you know me... you can trust me”… And to tell the truth I don’t know if anyone's ever told me “You cannot trust me, I am a lousy person and would make a horrible friend”. Few people say that.
But how can we know to trust others? How can we see down into the deep waters of the purposes of a persons heart. Solomon then asks the question: ...but a faithful man who can find?
I think that's a big part of the answer as to how we make judgments in relationships from day to day. We can only trust someone who is steadfast and faithful. Of course the problem is… that is none of us. We all fall very short of that. We fail God and others and even ourselves at least according to the results that last exercise program we started.
I think that it’s the degrees in mans steadfastness that makes our judgments more complex and difficult to traverse. I mean, degrees in faithfulness to others can be seen in believers and atheists alike and these are the waters of judgement we have to navigate in relationships. I believe Solomon helps us with that pointing us to look a a persons faithfulness. I like to think of it like this; a persons faith is always verified by their faithfulness. Some degree of faithfulness always accompanies faith. However, good works are not true faithfulness unless they are motivated by faith. So one can have works without faith but not faith without works.
Ok, well… at the end of the day Solomon's question remains… a faithful man who can find… There has only been one, even Jesus Christ Gods only Son. Therefore we must conclude that when he says his love towards us is steadfast, we can trust him.
Hebrews 4:15 speaking of Jesus says: …who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
In Exodus 33:18 Moses ask God to show him his glory and the next day in chapter 34:6 we find this: The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
We are sinners; but not Jesus. He is the only one who has been faithful to his Father in heaven and he has been faithful to his word and to us and we have good reason to put our faith in him and grow more and more in our faithfulness to him.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He was paid the wages of our sin with his death on the Cross and for all who delight in him he imputes his righteousness giving us fellowship with God and making us accepted by him.
He rose from the grave and we are given that same power that raised him to be victorious over sin in this life as we walk with him along with amazing peace and joy.
And as he was raised incorruptible we too will be raised no more subject to the consequences of sin like sickness, pain, sorrow, depression… and death… all gone and we will be with him forever.
Thank You Father for this great gift to the praise of your glorious grace.