by David Cook

Day 25

Read Proverbs 15

Many of us see the heart as the centre of our emotions, so we talk of ″loving with all your heart″. In the time of Proverbs, the heart represented the centre of the whole person-the conscience, will, emotions, and mind. Hence, when urging Israel to remember what God had done, Moses told them never to ″let them fade from your heart″ (Deuteronomy 4:9).

Christians are never so impressive as when they remain hopeful and steadfast amid crisis and catastrophe

Today, we look at the references to the heart in Proverbs 15 (vv. 7, 11, 13-15, 28, 30).

The two types of heart-the righteous and the wicked-are contrasted by the words they produce on the lips and mouth (vv. 7, 28). The righteous heart speaks gently and wisely, and seeks to soothe and edify. In contrast, the wicked heart frustrates, spreads ignorance, and discourages (vv. 1, 2, 4, 28).

Verses 13-15 describe the happy and cheerful heart. It is evidenced by a person's face, just as a sorrowful heart is seen in a crushed spirit (v. 13); it zealously seeks additional knowledge (v. 14); and it remains cheerful despite the wretched circumstances of life (v. 16; see also 14:30). This description suggests that true happiness and joy come from the heart, and depend more on the inner being of a person than on his circumstances. Christians are never so impressive as when they remain hopeful and steadfast amid crisis and catastrophe. In the face of pain, failure, and loss, can a person still say as Job did: ″The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised″ (Job 1:21)?

These verses tell us the relationship between the internal (the heart and the spirit) and the external (the face and body language, and circumstances of life):

  • The state of the heart can affect the face, body language, and spirit (Proverbs 15:13).
  • The circumstances of life may not necessarily affect the heart and the spirit (v. 15; see also Philippians 4:12-13). The key to remaining steadfast and content in any situation is to seek knowledge (Proverbs 15:14); such a discerning heart listens to God's revelation and finds its conviction there, and therefore, is able to view all circumstances through the lens of His Word.

In contrast, the fool has no stable foundation to deal with the changing circumstances of life.

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He has said,
who unto the Saviour, for refuge have fled.
-Richard Keene

Think through:

What do your words, general disposition, and outlook in life reveal about your heart?

The key to a cheerful heart is discernment. How are you seeking discernment from God's Word? How can you seek His knowledge?




About Author

David Cook was Principal of the Sydney Missionary and Bible College for 26 years. He is an accomplished writer and has authored Bible commentaries, books on the Minor Prophets, and several Bible study guides.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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