By Travis Biller
Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Elizabethton
Focal Passage: Proverbs 14:8-15
When Jesus stood before Pilate, Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). He asked this in response to Jesus’ claim, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Pilate demonstrated an unwise heart.
As a result, he was unable to hear the voice of God. He was looking truth in the face and denied Him. Jesus was trying to open his eyes with His statement. We serve such an amazing God. Even while a prisoner, Jesus was seeking to give His captor the grace needed to be saved.
God is like that. He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). All throughout history God has met sinners and sought to redirect their steps. In Genesis 4, God confronts Cain and tells him, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7). Like Pilate, Cain did not listen to the voice of God and killed his brother.
Our text is Proverbs 14:8-15, and in like fashion, God is seeking to give grace to sinners before they plunge into the abyss. The central focus of our text is verses eleven and twelve: “The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:11-12).
Learning to live wisely depends on hearing and following wisdom — which is the voice of God. Too often, we follow the dictates of our own heart. While speaking with Moses, God told him to command the Israelites to “make tassels for the corners of their garments.”
They were told to do this because, “They will serve as tassels for you to look at, so that you may remember all the Lord’s commands and obey them and not prostitute yourselves by following your own heart and your own eyes” (Numbers 15:39).
Instead of following God’s voice, and heeding His wisdom and direction, we plunge ahead believing that our heart is giving us the right answer. It is a common thing to hear people say, “Follow your heart!” But in light of what the Bible teaches, we should say, “Run from your heart!” God told Jeremiah that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Thankfully God does, and He meets us in our folly so that we can be saved from our own foolishness.
Paul was met in his folly on the road to Damascus. When he saw Christ, he was blinded. I suspect in his blindness he was forced to see into his own heart. Later he would say, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Those who live wisely learn to hear God’s voice and desire to be led by His wisdom. God’s words are, “life to those who find them” (Proverbs 4:22).
The next time your heart tells you something, run to Jesus! Listen to Him instead. Your feet will be established, and you will live wisely.