Proverbs 20 – Like Deep Water

Sometimes the proverbs of these chapters come at us so fast that our eyes want to glaze over, and we can miss any point whatsoever quite easily in any one of them.  Then we read the same set on another occasion, and something just clicks, and we so “oh yeah…i think I get it now!”  Verse 5 of this chapter was one such proverb for me:

“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.”

Humpback_WhaleSolomon presses us in these proverbs, particularly in the first few chapters, to pray for and to seek wisdom for many good reasons.  One of those reasons is to gain a deeper understanding of life, and of the heart.  Along those lines, so many of these proverbs speak of the value and wisdom to be gained by just listening.  By listening to others, we gain experience with the ways of the mind and of the heart – we acquire understanding.  The reference to deep water here is to say that what lies at the heart of a man’s (or a woman’s) intentions, desires, or even something that may really be bothering them is sometime not so obvious.

But by learning to listen, we can also learn what questions to ask to get to the heart of the matter.  And if the heart is up to no good, that will come out as well.  How do we know what questions to ask?  We ask those questions that help us gain a better understanding of what we are listening to.  And how does this help us with our walk with God?  If we truly are to love our neighbor, we must care enough about him to seek some insight into his heart.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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