Solomon speaks of the heart of man. Is he a good man? Is he evil? The proof is in the pudding; testing his character by observing his actions.
I don’t know if I would have come to this interpretation if it were not for my bible helps insight. After reading my helps I reread our passage. I saw it from a different angle then. What is really in a man’s heart will come out in his character.
With all the phony attitudes in this world it is hard to know who is being genuine and who is trying to ‘sell you a load of goods’. Let’s start with the most glaring example; the politicians. These are people who are experts at being what others want them to be. To one group they are one way and to another a different way. I could throw up a few recent examples of those who have been caught ‘speaking out of both sides of their mouth’. Those who say what their listeners want to hear, even if they said something exactly the opposite at another time. It’s VERY hard to tell what they are really like. But even politicians, if you watch them long enough and closely, you will see their heart. It will eventually come out in their actions. Too bad we can’t know their true character BEFORE they get into office.
It also takes someone with a heart of understanding to unmask phony people. That heart is a gift of God. We are not all born with that skill honed to perfection. I know I have been fooled MORE times than I care to count. And it HURTS every time it happens! When we rely on our own understanding and expectations, we WILL be fooled, for a time at least. But when we ask for God’s help in seeing below the surface, He WILL show us the truth. It’s not always as quickly as we would like it to be and we are often surprised at what He reveals. He is the ONLY one who truly knows the hearts of men.
For most of us, our character comes out in our actions. A man with an evil heart will, more often than not, be engaged in evil activities. A man with a good heart will be engaged in good activities. Don’t go around expecting EVERYONE to be of excellent character. But, on the other hand, don’t expect EVERYONE to disappoint you or take advantage of you.
Be open to new people but not vulnerable. Don’t build ‘brick walls’ that everyone has to scale before you let them in. On the other hand, don’t lay yourself bare before everyone you meet either. Ask God to help you be discerning. Ask HIM to build a hedge of protection around your heart.
Jesus was open to all people but He did not let the ones with ill intent into His heart. He held them at bay with His own character. He let in the hurting and those who truly wanted to change while holding back those with evil intent. The Pharisees had the most evil intent; to see His death. Yet He loved even them. He wept over the way they led people astray and at their futures. He met them with an understanding heart every time. They NEVER fooled Him. He could always see their ulterior motives. And when Nicodemus came to Him He knew his heart too. He gave him a challenge that took him a while to rise to but he DID come to know Jesus as his Savior too. Ask Him to give you that same understanding and discerning heart.
Father God, thank You that YOU know ALL men’s hearts. Thank You for protecting me time and Time and TIME again from evil intentions of others. THANK YOU for providing me with friends of good character. It is by Your hand that they have come into my life. And Your hand that those whose character is evil have been repelled. I trust that You will continue to bring the right people into my life and the lives of my family. The ‘person’ I’m most waiting for is the one who can reach my children and turn their hearts back towards You. I KNOW You know this person’s name, for each of my children, and will bring him/her about at just the right moment. Even if that moment is moments after the rapture. I place them again in Your hands.