Know the Human Heart

Friday, September 2, 2016

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:9,10 KJV).

Who knows the human heart?

Today’s Scripture says the human heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” The Holy Spirit asks the rhetorical question, “Who can know it?” In other words, who has intimate awareness of the human soul? Verse 10 tells us: “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins….” JEHOVAH God tries, tests, evaluates the hearts of men.

We cannot see people’s hearts; we can only see their actions. But their actions can be faked—“good works” can be phony, a feigned “show.” What really matters is their heart attitude underlying their works. The heart attitude cannot be faked. God can see right through any and all hypocrisy. He can see beyond their actions to observe their attitude.

Notice our Lord Jesus Christ’s commentary on Jeremiah 17:9: “[20] And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. [21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, [22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: [23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23). The LORD who “search[eth] the heart” and “tr[ieth] the reins [innermost being]” has found a most horrid reality!

What is amazing is God can see the very depths of the human heart, such great evil it is and what great evil it generates. Yet, He still chose (and chooses) to associate with us. After Adam and Eve sinned, knowing all the rebellion that would follow, it would have been ever so easy for God to completely wipe out the human race and start over. Why did He not? His mercy and His grace! Mercy kept Him from utterly consuming mankind and grace motivated Him to promise a Redeemer. While God knows the evil human heart, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, we know the loving heart of God. 🙂