I am very much enjoying my reading of God’s Word searching for the questions that He asked. My feeble attempts to answer are proving to be thought provoking, at least for me. I hope that you are finding the journey interesting, thought provoking, and profitable as well. Our next question is found in Proverbs 20:5-7, “The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find? The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.” (NIV)
All of us have purposes and motivations hidden deep within us, or at least we think and hope that they are hidden deep within us. It seems to me that those purposes and motivations are not deep in the sense that they are profound, complex, or difficult to understand. Rather, they are simply buried beneath an exterior of our own making. We made that exterior to hide our real self from the rest of the world. Verse 5 indicates that a man of understanding can see through that false front. A little observation and a little discernment usually sees right through our attempts to hide our real motivations.
Verse 6 is certainly revealing and painful to the vast majority of us. Many (or most of us as some translations have it) of us, claim to have unfailing love for our Savior but our calendars, our checkbooks, our entertainment logs, our apathy, our lack of serving, and our failure to evangelize, etc. expose us. I am particularly appalled by my own failure to spend a reasonable amount of time quietly sitting before the Lord. You will personally have to discern your own particular area where you are missing the mark. I’ve got my own areas of need to look after. The question, “..…but a faithful man, who can find?” is a haunting one. Ouch! It sounds like they must be few and far between.
We have taken a quick glance at our individual relationship with the Lord, but what about our corporate relationship with Him? I come into contact, day after day after day, with people who say, “Sure I believe in God”; “Oh, yes, I’m a Christian”; “The Good Lord is taking care of me”; “Yes, I’m saved and a child of God”; and the list of self proclamations goes on and on. Much to my dismay, and I assume to the Lord’s dismay, many if not most of these individuals have a very minimal church attendance record. The reasons (excuses) for not meeting regularly to worship the Lord with brothers and sisters in Christ are numerous and almost always trivial. Certainly, a man’s oxen stumble into the ditch from time to time, but a man of understanding can easily see that often the oxen are led into the ditch. We have not even mentioned the subject of lack of kingdom service that always accompanies poor church attendance. Verse 6 says, “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” Oh, dear God, where are the faithful men? Send us laborers for the harvest.
Take the time to ask your pastor if there is a shortage of faithful men and women. Ask him if the faithful in your church are being overworked to the extreme because of the failure to serve by the faithless. Ask him where you fit in. Ask the Lord those same questions. Do not be offended by their answers. “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” Do your best to let your actions answer, “Right here!”