Journal Prov 24 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” Prov 24:12
Observation: Wow!! The Gospel is found everywhere in the Testimony of God, His Holy Word.
Analysis: Today, in a journal group, we reviewed Romans 3. Right now, I am attempting to not jump to the punch line of “Jesus Saves” before I understand what He is saving me from; learning (as much as I can) every point and subpoint of the Gospel leading up to the Cross.
I am not taking Salvation lightly, therefore, so I do not take it lightly, I preach the Gospel to myself, attempting to recite the story of the Gospel from before Genesis through the Cross. It is a good chore to do; hard, in that I want to skip steps and I shouldn’t.
In the above section of Proverbs 24, there is a unambiguous statement attributed to me, “Behold, we did not know this,” basically alluding to an excuse of, “I can’t be held responsible because I am uninformed, I did not know, I haven’t been educated—Are You really going to hold me accountable? Are you seriously that unforgiving?”
Solomon nips this train of thought in the bud by reiterating AGAIN: Doesn’t God, who sees and weighs the heart perceive it? Will God not repay Man according to Man’s work?
It is like a mathematical equation, there are Constants and there are Variables.
I am only reviewing the Constants here:
- God is Holy.
- Man is not.
- Man’s works, unacceptable as they are, will not appease God’s Judgement and subsequent Condemnation of Man, requiring the full and furious Wrath of God on unholy creation.
- God not only sees Man’s Works, He also sees Man’s motivation (heart and soul). Man’s motivation focuses upon himself alone, not God. (c. Gen 3, especially verse 4)
These are part of the basis (core, foundation) of the Gospel
Therefore, it is only God’s evaluation/judgement that counts on whether a person’s works are acceptable or not. Reference Cain and Abel: Both brought offerings. Abel’s was accepted, Cain’s was not. Why? Reasons may be inferred but, ultimately it was God’s prerogative to decide what He was pleased with.
Was this fair? Dumb question. Let me offer this reasoning: God or Man? God wins.
Certainly, this happened: God (because He is God) saw into the hearts of Cain and Abel. What did He see? Scripture doesn’t say, but He is God and He saw; God was pleased with Abel’s offering, not Cain’s.
God saw Cain’s countenance drop and was blunt: “And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So, Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.”” (Gen 4:4b-7a)
God (who keeps watch over the soul) was warning Cain sin was waiting to devour him. God was aware of Cain’s angry heart (not shown) which was masked by a fallen countenance (which was shown).
By the example of Cain and Abel, I understand that God sees completely through me, no secrets are beyond His knowing (not only the immediate situation, but He knows the secrets of my heart from before I was born).
I can’t hide, and I have no excuse.
Prayer: Lord, you know the struggle and frustration from this morning that I am chewing over, like a cow and her cud.
Work my heart over with your discipline and rod so that I walk securely in your wisdom.
Ricky Two Shoes