The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.’
Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV)
In chapter 17 of Jeremiah the prophet makes a statement about the heart. This statement isn’t attributed to God, as it is preceded and followed by the words Jeremiah recorded directly from God. It is almost as if Jeremiah states something he has seen in life, allowing God to comment on it. Jeremiah asks about the heart: ‘Who can understand it?’ The answer from God is: ‘I the Lord examine the heart and search the mind …’ While Jeremiah asks who can understand the human heart, the answer from God is that he alone does.
Jeremiah recognised the human condition and the deceitfulnes of the heart. You may remember in the last post we looked at motives and saw that when seeking God’s guidance it is important to look to God’s Word and prayer. Human advice can be sought, but not as a starting point.
If we recognise that the heart is deceitful, then we should also recognise the possibility that we may be convinced in our own minds of what we should do, yet get it wrong. It’s not that we intentionally wish to go against God’s will, but if we rely on what we feel then there is every chance that it could be wrong. Putting decisions before God, allows us to get God’s view on things first.