Solomon used the word “heart” 79 times in the book of Proverbs. I’d often wondered how many times he used it, so yesterday I counted. In 31 chapters, he uses it 79 times.
What’s interesting is that he has two different approaches in his usage. The first is in the context of us having a heart for God. He makes the point over and over that we are to set our heart on God. I believe that if we do so, our desires become God’s desires for us and we are more likely to make decisions that are in line with His will for us. This comforts me; I know I can trust God with my heart.
The second usage takes on a warning tone, in my opinion. It’s as if he is saying: “if you set your heart on the wrong things, such as evil, self-promotion, envy, greed, etc., you will be sorry. God allows us to set our hearts on the wrong things, but ultimately, if we are paying attention, we will realize our errors and God will show us where we went wrong.
I feel too much most of the time. My heart aches for friends and family, rejoices in true moments of happiness and beauty, and seizes in fear and anxiety. I’m too human and vulnerable in my relationships, so I often feel like building a wall around my heart in an effort to protect myself. But Solomon tells us to have heart and stay open, and if we set our hearts on the right things, namely God, He will guard our hearts and minds through His extraordinary love and care.
Solomon most definitely had heart. On most days, I have heart. Shouldn’t we all have heart?
“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.”
“The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts.”