God Searches the Heart
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
Joseph Conrad’s, Heart of Darkness, is a literary classic. It explores the symbolic darkness of man’s heart as two men experience the depths of literal darkness in the Congo in Africa. The dying last words of one of the main characters were, “The horror! The horror!”
Surely, most of the troubles of mankind throughout history can be traced to the misunderstanding, or misreading, of the true intentions or condition of a human heart. I can think of Hitler or Stalin, for example. Closer to home, men have always had trouble understanding the heart of the opposite sex. Do I have a witness?
When Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to find the next King of Israel, God said, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). Only God is capable of seeing, understanding and judging the human heart. Our scripture today says God searches the heart and examines the mind for the purpose of rewarding each person according to what their deeds deserve.
That should get our attention. When I was not living for the Lord I justified my sinful actions by saying, “God knows my heart.” That’s the problem! God saw my heart, and truthfully evaluated it which, thankfully, finally led to the conviction that I needed salvation.
It is only a heart that has been regenerated in the new birth that even comes close to properly representing God, and is therefore subject to receiving good rewards.
Ask the Father to help you examine your heart today and purge it of anything that’s not like Jesus.
Dive Deeper: Study Jeremiah 17; 1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 12:34; Proverbs 4:23; Philippians 4:4-9.