Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Minute

    Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
        are fervent lips with an evil heart.
    Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
        and harbors deceit in his heart;

    when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
        for there are seven abominations in his heart;
    though his hatred be covered with deception,
        his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
    Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
        and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
Proverbs 26:23-27 

In my Bible study this morning, I cam across this passage.  The bolded verse stuck out to me.

How interesting.  

The hateful person tries to cover up his hatred with words. He tries to speak "graciously". He tries to be kind in an attempt to fool you. He apparently, will even succeed to an extent. (v.26)   I have experienced this before, haven't you?

What really caught my attention was not that a man would try to hide what he inherently (that whole conscience thing) knows is wicked, but what was said of his heart.

and harbors deceit in his heart;

harbor-  n.A place on the coast where vessels may find shelter, esp. one protected from rough water by piers, jetties, and other artificial structures.
v.Keep (a thought or feeling, typically a negative one) in one's mind, esp. secretly.

The man hides, in the recesses of his heart, deceit - lies. The harbor as a noun sheds light on the connotation that comes with harbor.  It is a place of shelter and protection. The lies are "kept safe" so to speak.  The Hebrew rendering is a bit different.  It says that he "lays up deceit".  It can also be rendered to affix or station. The person who is full of hatred is also full of deceit. The deceit is fixated in his heart.

What is this deceit? Does it refer to him deceiving himself into thinking that his hatred is somehow "ok"? We know from the passage that his "gracious" words are nothing more than a lie; simply a cover for his hatred. Or is it deeper than that? Maybe it is a reference to the lie they are believing that feeds the hatred. A lie about God or maybe another person. Or is it an overall picture of the heart of man that is "full of deceit and desperately wicked"? Regardless. Deceit is found in the heart of the man who hates.


Desiring God: Battling Unbelief
John Piper explains how sin is a matter of unbelief or to put it a different way, believing a lie.

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