Monday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity
Scripture: Proverbs 16:1-24 (NKJV)
1 The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. 2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits. 3 Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. 4 The LORD has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. 5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished. 6 In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil. 7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8 Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice. 9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. 10 Divination is on the lips of the king; His mouth must not transgress in judgment. 11 Honest weights and scales are the LORD’s; All the weights in the bag are His work. 12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, and they love him who speaks what is right. 14 As messengers of death is the king’s wrath, but a wise man will appease it. 15 In the light of the king’s face is life, and his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain. 16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul. 18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he. 21 The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning. 22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
If we confine ourselves to our own little world, we can become very content with our thoughts, words, and actions. Verse 2 of today’s text says: “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes…” It is always easy to “self-justify.” But in the objective mirror of God’s Law we see that God is not content with our thoughts, words, and actions. That is why verse 2 continues, “but the LORD weighs the spirits.” It is only through this independent and flawless perspective that we can rightly diagnose our condition.
This diagnosis leads to exposing ourselves in what we should have done, and what we should not have done. Once we confess these sins of omission and commission, God is quick to forgive. By living according to His will, and confessing when we do not, we follow God’s plan for our lives. As His children we know that He will put all these pieces together—both good and bad—and use them for His good purpose (Rom. 8:28).
This does not hold true for those who reject God. The brokenness they must endure, or the earthly prosperity they may experience, will not serve their eternal purpose. Verse 5 of our text says: “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.”
There is much we must endure in this life. We must bear the burdens of living in a broken world. Even harder, we must live with our sinful selves. Let us take consolation that our God is eager to forgive and guide us, and may we be eager to live lives that conform to His holy will.