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These Six Things… Yea, Seven (a heart that devises wicked plans and feet that make haste to run to evil)

This is the fourth post looking at the list of seven things from Proverbs 6:16-19 that God detests. We have looked at haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. In this post we will cover the next two in the list: a heart that devises wicked plans, and feet that make haste to run to evil. And when I say “we will cover,” my intention is that we will prayerfully consider where and how these sins manifest themselves in our lives and we would repent and receive the mercy and grace and forgiveness found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A heart that devises wicked plans

When most Americans hear or see a reference to the heart, the first thought is usually about emotions. However as the ESV Study Bible points out, “heart in Proverbs regularly refers to the center of one’s inner life and orientation to God, from which a person does all thinking, feeling, and choosing.” Or as Tim Keller often says, the heart is “the seat of the mind, will, and emotions, all together.” So it isn’t just our emotions that devise wicked plans, but our thinking and our choosing. And according to Bruce Waltke, to devise wicked plans “essentially means to calculate, to compute as well as to plan, conceive, invent.” The isn’t about simply slipping or stumbling into something wicked or evil. It is about a “heart that plots evil” (NLT). No wonder God detests this.

Feet that make haste to run to evil

Again Bruce Waltke is helpful. To make haste to run to evil…

emphasizes his zeal and zest to follow the inner evil compulsion as soon as possible… All the words found in this verse… are also found in 1:16. Indeed, 1:11–15 aptly illustrates this fifth abomination. The verse “catches the note of urgency involved in the crime—no step spared, no second wasted, no base left uncovered in the execution of the plot” (quoting D. A. Hubbard).

Getting practical

Maybe the best way to invite God to search our hearts on these items so that we don’t simply blow them off as only things in others is to ask a few questions. I invite you to take seven minutes and ponder these questions (adapted from Eric Lane) and your answers.

  • What goes on in my mind (heart)?
  • How do I use my imagination (v. 18a)?
  • Does my brain teem with endless schemes as to how I can get one-up on everyone else?
  • What makes my feet move quickly or press the accelerator to the floor?
  • Where can I not wait to be (v. 18b)?

5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. 6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. 7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. - Psalm 32:5-7

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