Sermon on Proverbs 2:1-6 from March 8, 2009
1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Samuel 14:7, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, Biblical Counseling, Conduct, Desires, Foo, Francis Schaeffer, heart, Hidden Person, How People Change, Inner Man, Intentions, Introduction to Biblical Cousnseling, John Calvin, Keeping the Heart, Motives, Paul David Tripp, Proverbs, Self, The Heart, Timothy S. Lane, Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Wise
The previous post in this series can be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/introduction-to-biblical-counseling-week-three-worship/
Introduction to Biblical Counseling, Week Four: The Heart
Biblical counseling entails “heart” work: “What would you say if you were asked to summarize what it meant to be a Christian? When pressed by the teachers of the Law, Jesus says that all true obedience grows out of a transformed heart.” Numerous examples could be given to demonstrate this statement.
The language of “heart” work or change has become a cliché of sorts among Christians. Now it is right that we should think of change as taking place within the heart; yet what we mean by “heart work” at times falls short of the biblical concept.
I. A General Description of the Heart
A. It goes without saying that while the word “heart” can refer to the physical organ in one’s chest, the change which must take place within the “heart” does not mean surgery on arteries and tissue.
B. General nature of the heart.
1. The “heart is the locus and organ of thought and the faculty of understanding. . . The intellectual exercise of the mind is not really detached from the emotional and the modern dichotomy is artificial.”
2. For “heart” signifies the total inner self, a person’s hidden core of being (1 Pt 3:4), with which one communes, which one “pours out” in prayer, words, and deeds (Gn 17:17; Ps 62:8; Mt 15:18, 19). It is the genuine self, distinguished from appearance, public position, and physical presence (1 Sm 16:7; 2 Cor 5:12; 1 Thes 2:17). And this “heart-self” has its own nature, character, disposition, “of man” or “of beast” (Dn 7:4 KJV; 4:16; cf. Mt 12:33–37).
3. “Moderns connect some of the heart’s emotional-intellectual-moral functions with the brain and glands, but its functions are not precisely equivalent for three reasons.
“First, moderns do not normally associate the brain/mind with both rational and non-rational activities, yet the ancients did not divorce them (Ps. 20:4).
“Second, the heart’s reasoning, as well as its feeling, depends on its moral condition. Jesus said that “from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts” (Mark 7:21). Because the human heart is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9) and folly is bound up in the heart of a child (Prov. 22:15), the Spirit of God must give humans a new heart (Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 36:26) through faith that purifies it (Acts 15:9; cf. Eph. 3:17).
“Third, moderns distinguish between the brain’s thoughts and a person’s actions, but the distinction between thought and action is inappropriate for heart. “The word is very near you,” says Moses to a regenerated Israel, “in your mouth and in your heart” (Deut. 30:14).”
4. The heart is the space of one’s emotional life:
a. And they told him, “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them. Genesis 45:26 (ESV)
b. And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the LORD;
my horn is exalted in the LORD.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation. 1 Samuel 2:1
c. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 1 Samuel 28:5 (ESV)
d. “Emotionally, the heart experiences intoxicated merriment (1 Sm 25:36), gladness (Is 30:29), joy (Jn 16:22), sorrow (Neh 2:2), anguish (Rom 9:2), bitterness (Prv 14:10), anxiety (1 Sm 4:13), despair (Eccl 2:20), love (2 Sm 14:1), trust (Ps 112:7), affection (2 Cor 7:3), lust (Mt 5:28), callousness (Mk 3:5), hatred (Lv 19:17), fear (Gn 42:28), jealousy (Jas 3:14), desire (Rom 10:1), discouragement (Nm 32:9), sympathy (Ex 23:9), anger (Dt 19:6 KJV), irresolution (2 Chr 13:7 KJV), and much besides.”
5. The heart is the locus of one’s intellectual and intentional activity.
a. The heart has “motives” (1 Corinthians 4:5).
b. It has intentions: “And his armor-bearer said to him, ‘Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul’” 1 Samuel 14:7 (ESV).
c. It moves one to conduct: “21 And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22 So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the Lord” Exodus 35:21–22 (ESV).
d. Contrives evil: “ While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” Acts 5:4 (ESV)
e. The heart thinks: “4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?’” Matthew 9:4 (ESV).
5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search: Psalm 77:5–6 (ESV)
6. The information and affections within the heart give rise to outward manifestation.
a. We see this frequently in Proverbs:
[A worthless person] with perverted heart devises evil
Continually sowing discord ….Proverbs 6:14 (ESV).
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20; (ESV)
A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly. Proverbs 12: 23 (ESV)
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25 (ESV).
The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools. Proverbs 15:7 (ESV)
A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. Proverbs 15:13 (ESV)
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Proverbs 16:23 (ESV)
As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man. Proverbs 27:19 (ESV)
b. Thus if the “heart” determines a matter, the entire self is said to be so determined, “Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways” (Proverbs 7:25a).
c. The state of the heart can affect one’s physical state: “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot” (Proverbs 14:30). “A joyful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
d. SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Yet, care must always be taken when evaluating the content of the heart on the basis of conduct, because the heart is capable of overt deceit (6:10; 23:7; 26:23-24). Longman writes of 14:10, “[N]o one can really knows what is going on emotionally insider another person.” And, “the heart of the king is unsearchable” (25:3; see also, 23:7). The problem with evaluation of the heart exists even with self-evaluation: “To trust in one’s own heart . . .is the epitome of folly”.
7. SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Being the locus of information and font of desire (which as Edwards notes leads to will) the heart has the ability to determine both conduct and emotion (7:25: 6:14; 14:30; 17:22; 23:19; 23:26).
8. SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1It is a place of cognitive determination (2:2) and the place of desire (6:25 & 7:25; 23:17). It is the locus of information, whether good or evil (2:10; 3:3; 4:21; 7:30; 14:33; 22:15; 26:24; 26: 25). The son is commanded to store wisdom in the heart (7:3). The information in the heart is not solely cognitive or moral: it also holds the affections (14:10; 24:17).
9. A wise heart is one that carefully determines its conduct:
a. “A heart devises wicked plans” (Proverbs 6:18).
b. “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” Proverbs 15:28 (ESV)
c. “The wise of heart is called discerning” (Proverbs 16:21).
10. The foolish heart may be impulsive (“The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.” Proverbs 15:7 (ESV). In contrast, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” Proverbs 15:28 (ESV) ) There does also seem to be some deliberate deception possible for such a heart (Proverbs 7:10, “And behold the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart”).
11. SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1The heart exists in a recursive system: information flows outward from the heart into will and conduct; and, information flows inward from conduct and the environment: which information flow affects the state of the heart
a. Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
b. Proverbs 15:30 (ESV)
30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the bones.
c. Proverbs 27:9 (ESV)
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
d. Proverbs 27:11 (ESV)
11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
that I may answer him who reproaches me.
e. Proverbs 31:11 (ESV)
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
f. The heart can be taught. Proverbs 2:2; 3:3, Deuteronomy 6:6. The word of God stored in the heart transforms the life:
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (ESV)
II. The Heart and God
A. The Heart is the Place of Moral Determination
1. It can “think evil” (Matthew 9:4).
2. It can be stubborn before God’s command (Jeremiah 18:12; 23:17).
3. It can be haughty (Jeremiah 48:29).
4. It can contain idols (Ezekiel 14:4 & 7).
5. It can be faithfully set before the Lord (Psalm 112:7-8).
6. It can be hardened. Exodus 4:21.
7. It can be gentle and lowly. Matthew 11:29.
8. It can be hard and impenitent. Romans 2:5.
9. It can be blameless and holy. 1 Thessalonians 3:3.
10. It can be self-deceived. James 1:26.
11. It can be deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9.
12. The conscience can strike the heart. 1 Samuel 24:5. The men who heard Peter’s sermon were “cut to the heart”. Acts 2:37.
B. The heart is the source of good. Luke 6:45; 8:15.
C. The heart is also the source of evils:
14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. Mark 7:14–22 (ESV)
D. The heart is the place of interaction with God.
1. One believes “with the heart”. Romans 10:9.
2. It is the record of evidence used for judgment:
15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Romans 2:15–16 (ESV)
Francis Schaeffer illustrates it thus:
Let me use an illustration again that I have used in other places. If every little baby that was ever born anywhere in the world had a tape recorder hung about its neck, and if this tape recorder only recorded the moral judgments with which this child as he grew bound other men, the moral precepts might be much lower than the biblical law, but they would still be moral judgments. Eventually each person comes to that great moment when he stands before God as judge. Suppose, then, that God simply touched the tape recorder button and each man heard played out in his own words all those statements by which he had bound other men in moral judgment. He could hear it going on for years—thousands and thousands of moral judgments made against other men, not aesthetic judgments, but moral judgments. Then God would simply say to the man, though he had never heard the Bible, now where do you stand in the light of your own moral judgments. The Bible points out in the passage quoted above that every voice would be stilled. All men would have to acknowledge that they have deliberately done those things which they knew to be wrong. Nobody could deny it.
3. The heart does not exist in a hermetic naturalistic system. While the creature, in all manifestations, does interact with the heart, so does the Creator: The heart “lies open” before God (Proverbs 15:11). God controls the heart, and thus controls behavior (Proverbs 16:1; 19:21; 21:1). God responds to and judges the heart (Proverbs 17:3). As it reads in Proverbs 16:5: “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.” The heart itself can foolishly “rage against the Lord” (Proverbs 19:3).
4. One fundamental assumption of Scripture is that the human heart is constantly open to influences from above and from below. God would “lay hold of [human] hearts” (Ez 14:5), “incline hearts” to his truth and ways (Ps 119:36), “put into … hearts to carry out his purposes,” both for judgment and for salvation (Rv 17:17). The alternative to divine “possession” is the demonic influence that can drag the heart down to utmost evil (Jn 13:2; Acts 5:3). The same heart that can be “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9) can also become the shrine of divine love and the Spirit (Rom 5:5).
5. “In more than three hundred cases where the word refers to the human heart it has a spiritual significance and refers to a person’s relationship with God. This does not mean that in its religious sense the heart has no relationship to a person’s thoughts, intentions, and feelings, but rather that these are motivated and driven by the heart, which is the religious point of departure for all of human life. The religious use of heart in the Old Testament, however, expresses not only directedness toward God, but often also appears in the context of turning away from him (e.g., Deut. 8:14, 17; 9:4; 2 Chr. 26:16, KJV; Isa. 9:9; 10:12, KJV; 47:8; Ezek. 31:10; Hos. 13:6; Obad. 3). As the source of virtually every manifestation of human religion and as that point in the person to which the revelation of God is ultimately directed, the human heart forms the focal point of God’s dealings with the person.
“This Old Testament meaning of heart is continued in the New Testament, particularly the Gospels (Matt. 6:21; 15:18–19; 22:37; Luke 6:45; John 14:1, 27) and the letters of Paul. As in the Old Testament, the New Testament word for heart (Gk. kardía) can indicate a person’s mind, will, and feelings, but Paul’s use of the term in reference to the spiritual or religious quality of human life expresses the idea that all of these facets of personhood are spiritually determined (cf. 2 Cor. 3:14ff., KJV; RSV “mind”; Phil. 4:7). Paul explicitly declares the connection between the heart and God, saying that God’s revelation bears witness to or within the human heart as the true center of human existence (cf. Rom. 2:14ff.). Just as the heart or core of a person’s being is the recipient of divine revelation, so it is the subject of the response, positive or negative, one makes to God. With the heart one believes (Rom. 10:10), desires (1:24), obeys (6:17), and performs the will of God (Eph. 6:6). The redeemed heart is the dwelling place of Christ (3:17) and of his peace (Col. 3:15) and love (Rom. 5:5).
“The use of the word heart in all of these contexts suggests that on the deepest level human beings are guided and determined from one central point which represents their true humanity, the heart. This is true both of their response to the revelation of God and of their responsibility for their own thinking, willing, and acting.”
E. The heart is the place of temptation:
Whilst it knocks at the door we are at liberty; but when any temptation comes in and parleys with the heart, reasons with the mind, entices and allures the affections, be it a long or a short time, do it thus insensibly and imperceptibly, or do the soul take notice of it, we “enter into temptation.”
III. Some Counseling Observations
A. The heart, in some manner, may be known.
1. As shown above, the heart does exhibit itself in overt behavior and affections.
2. The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 20:5 (ESV)
3. SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Yet, care must always be taken when evaluating the content of the heart from objective conduct, because the heart is capable of overt deceit (6:10; 23:7; 26:23-24). Longman writes of 14:10, “[N]o one can really know what is going on emotionally insider another person.” And, “the heart of the king is unsearchable” (25:3; see also, 23:7). The problem with evaluation of the heart exists even with self-evaluation: “To trust in one’s own heart . . .is the epitome of folly”.
4. When we are presented with sin in others, we are liable to distortion ourselves:
(1.) For we have the ground of the matter in ourselves.—“Hearts deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know thy wickedness? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins,” &c. (Jer. 17:9, 10.) As if none beside the Lord knew the bottomless depths and deceits of the heart! In the heart are those lusts and affections, that feed and foment all the hypocrisy in the world,—pride, vain-glory, concupiscence, carnal wisdom: were it not for these, there would not be an hypocrite living.
5. Jeremiah 17:9-10 explains that the evil of the heart makes it truly unknowable to any but God:
These two verses, though expressing different ideas, belong together. Taken together they form the center of the entire unit from v 1 through v 13. The contrast these two verses speak are the very contrast of the entire unit: deceitful, sinful humanity in contrast to a holy and just God. Verse 9 is probably a proverbial saying or riddle that looks back to the previous unit, to v 5, the one cursed who turns his heart from Yahweh. It also looks further back to v 1, where Judah’s sin is inscribed on her heart. Indeed, the heart is deceitful and incurably sick. (On the sick heart, cf. Jer. 8:18, where the reference is to heartsickness from grief over Judah’s sin.) Because it is so deceitful, the poet wonders who may know it? From human perspective it may seem that no one can know the inscrutable heart of a person who is deliberately deceitful. Yet the answer is swift in coming. Yahweh knows! Yahweh is the one who searches the heart and tests the inward parts of humankind (cf. ובחנתלבי, Jer. 12:3). He knows the heart and gives to each according to the fruit of his/her deeds. This reference to fruit again links this passage with the preceding one (v 8). Another link with the first section of this unit may be seen in the repetition of the word “give.” Yahweh who had given the inheritance to his people (v 4) will now give to each according to his way, according to the fruit of his/her deeds (v 10). A link is also provided within this passage for the confession in vv 14–18. Although the heart is incurable (v 9), a source of healing is available, Yahweh himself (v 14). In one sense, the hope of healing in v 14 answers the incurable nature of the heart’s sickness precisely as Yahweh’s searching of the heart (v 10) answers the question of its unknowable qualities (v 9).
B. The content of the heart is determined by the relationship one has at the level of his heart toward God.
1. By nature the heart is subject to corruption. Note that continuity of the corruption of the human heart before and after the flood: Genesis 6:5 & 8:21.
2. The corruption is so great that only a new heart can transform the human being (Jeremiah 13:23). This is the great blessing promised in the New Covenant.
17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ 18 And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 11:17–21 (ESV)
3. God must write the law upon the heart of those redeemed under the New Covenant.
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:31–34 (ESV)
4. God pours out his love into our hearts:
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5 (ESV)
5. Christ will dwell in our hearts:
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14–19 (ESV)
6. We are in the process of being renewed in that we have been rescued from our previous “hardness of heart” and “deceitful desires”:
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17–24 (ESV)
7. The renovation of the heart/mind (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) is the current process of transformation:
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:10 (ESV)
This process of renewing our mind will be seen in future lessons.
8. It is God who brings forth the transformation of the heart:
Psalm 51:7–10 (ESV)
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
9. The human being brings to God a broken heart:
a. Psalm 51:16–17 (ESV)
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
b. Calvin explains of this verse:
I might observe, that David is not speaking at this time of the meritorious condition by which pardon is procured, but, on the contrary, asserting our absolute destitution of merit by enjoining humiliation and contrition of spirit, in opposition to everything like an attempt to render a compensation to God. The man of broken spirit is one who has been emptied of all vain-glorious confidence, and brought to acknowledge that he is nothing. The contrite heart abjures the idea of merit, and has no dealings with God upon the principle of exchange. Is it objected, that faith is a more excellent sacrifice that that which is here commended by the Psalmist, and of greater efficacy in procuring the Divine favor, as it presents to the view of God that Savior who is the true and only propitiation? I would observe, that faith cannot be separated from the humility of which David speaks. This is such a humility as is altogether unknown to the wicked. They may tremble in the presence of God, and the obstinacy and rebellion of their hearts may be partially restrained, but they still retain some remainders of inward pride. Where the spirit has been broken, on the other hand, and the heart has become contrite, through a felt sense of the anger of the Lord, a man is brought to genuine fear and self-loathing, with a deep conviction that of himself he can do or deserve nothing, and must be indebted unconditionally for salvation to Divine mercy. That this should be represented by David as constituting all which God desires in the shape of sacrifice, need not excite our surprise. He does not exclude faith, he does not condescend upon any nice division of true penitence into its several parts, but asserts in general, that the only way of obtaining the favor of God is by prostrating ourselves with a wounded heart at the feet of his Divine mercy, and supplicating his grace with ingenuous confessions of our own helplessness.
C. Keeping the heart. Since the heart controls the life, one must take care to protect the heart. Hence, the command in Proverb 3:25 (ESV), “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
O God, Who, the more we hide our sins, the more bringest them into open day; Who out of doubt dost bring certainty, out of error, truth; visit us with the dew of Thy mercy: so putting out all our misdeeds, as to make us a new heart by the infusion of Thy Holy Ghost, to the end that we, rejoicing in such an indweller, may have our mouth opened for the declaration of Thy praise. Amen. Through
Timothy S. Lane, Paul David Tripp, How People Change, 195.
Michael Fox, Proverbs 1‑9 (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 109.
Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 939.
Walter A. Elwell and Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Baker Reference Library; Logos Library System (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996).
Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 939.
 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 Respecting 6:14, Longman (Proverbs) writes, “The heart is the core of a person from which emanates all actions, motives, and speech. The heart of an evil person is bent on evil” (Longman, 174).
 Longman, 299.
 “It may also warn them about trying to psychoanalyze the monarch” (Longman, 451).
 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Longman, 496-497.
 Patrick Simon paraphrases this command in part with, “[W]ith sincere affection applying thy mind to understanding they duty” (Patrik Simon, The Proverbs of Solomon Paraphrased with Arguments of Each Chapter (London: M. Flesher, 1683), 23). Proverbs 2:2 presents an interesting exegetical problem: The heart is elsewhere credited with acting, desiring, planning et cetera (examples of such usage will be provided below). In 2:2, the son is told to move his heart toward some end. What then is to incline the heart if it is not the heart, itself? Longman explains of this verse, “The heart represents what we would call the basic personality or character of a person. Though ‘heart’ stands for the whole inner person, on occasions the cognitive. . . . More than the simple act of hearing is involved in the reception of the father’s teaching; one must be predisposed toward wisdom to benefit from it.” Longman, 119-120. It seems that the heart must incline itself to respond to this command. Perhaps the best way to understand this command is to understand the desire, hence will is to cause the heart to incline its cognitive faculties.
 By incorporating information into the heart, it “will become an integral part of the son’s character” (Longman, 122; see, also, William Arnott, Laws From Heaven for Life on Earth (New York: T. Nelson and Sons, 1873), 67).
 Moses Stuart, A Commentary on the Book of Proverbs (Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1870), 167. Here the “heart” “stand[s] for his core personality” (Longman, 131).
 See the sermon of Thomas Manton on Psalm 119:11, also available on the website.
 17:9–10 Verse 9 is another wisdom saying. It contains an emphatic denial of a popular belief that people are basically good (cf. Isa 64:6; Rom 3:23). Judah’s problem of sin is a common one, extending to the whole fallen human race. The word ʿāqōb, “deceitful,” is elsewhere translated “stained” (Hos 6:8) and “rough ground” (Isa 40:4). A similar word ʿōqbāh, “deception,” describes Jehu’s tricks by which he slaughtered the servants of Baal (2 Kgs 10:19). The root occurs first in Gen 3:15 in the word for “heel” (ʿāqēb), where Satan would attack Eve’s messianic offspring (cf. Pss 41:9; 89:51). Deceitfulness is said to be characteristic of Satan and his followers (John 8:44). The same word, ʿăqēs, is translated “ambush” in Josh 8:13, describing Joshua’s strategy of deceit by which he conquered Ai (cf. Job 18:9). The name of Jacob, the great deceiver, is also from the same root (Gen 25:26; 27:36). The human heart has an unlimited capacity for wickedness and deceit so that human resources are incapable of dealing with it (Mark 7:21–23; Gal 5:19–21). The only remedy is a radical change, nothing less than rebirth (John 3:7; 2 Cor 5:17).
F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations, vol. 16, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 174.
 Francis A. Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian Worldview, vol. 4 (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 41–42.
God is fit to govern the world upon the account of his wisdom and knowledge.—His “eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” He observes all the motions and ways of men. He understands what hath been, is, and shall be. “Hell is naked before him;” (Job 26:6;) how much more, earth! His eye is upon the conclave of Rome, the cabals of princes, and the closets of particular persons. Excellently doth David set forth the divine omniscience: “Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before.” (Psalm 139:2–5.) He knows not only what is done by man, but also what is in man; all his goodness, and all his wickedness; all his contrivances, purposes, and designs. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9.) Do you ask, “Who?” The answer is ready,—“Jehovah.” He “searcheth the heart;” he “trieth and possesseth the reins.” Those are dark places, far removed from the eyes of all the world: but God’s “eyes are like a flame of fire;” they carry their own light with them, and discover those recesses, run through all the labyrinths of the heart; they look into each nook and corner of it, and see what lurks there, what is doing there. O, what manner of persons should we be! with what diligence should we keep our hearts, since God observes them with so much exactness! Men may take a view of the practices of others; but God sees their principles, and to what they do incline them. Yea, he knows how to order and command the heart; not only how to affright it with terrors, and to allure it with kindnesses, and persuade it with arguments, but likewise how to change and alter and mend it by his power. He can not only debilitate and enfeeble it, when set upon evil; but also confirm and fix and fortify it, when carried out to that which is good. “The hearts of kings are in the hands of the Lord, and he turneth them as the rivers of water.” (Prov. 21:1.)
James Nichols, Puritan Sermons, vol. 3 (Wheaton, IL: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1981), 325.
 Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 939.
Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 471.
 John Owen, The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 6 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 97.
 “The reference to her ‘guarded heart’ is difficult. It may point out that though her actions are outgoing, her motives are hidden. She is loud, but one does not really know what is going on inside of her since she keeps it hidden. It points out just how dangerous she is” (Longman, 189).
 “How Shall Hypocrisy be Discoverable and Curable” by Rev. Andrew Bromhall, in James Nichols, Puritan Sermons, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1981), 538.
Peter C. Craigie, Jeremiah 1–25, vol. 26, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas, TX: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 227–228.
 Mind is an equivalent of “heart” in many instances:
The heart’s connection with thinking in Hebrew thought is so close that modern translations such as the RSV frequently translate lēḇ or lēḇāḇ by “mind” or “understanding” (Job 12:3; Prov. 16:9; Jer. 7:31).
Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 471.
It was essentially the whole man, with all his attributes, physical, intellectual and psychological, of which the Hebrew thought and spoke, and the heart was conceived of as the governing centre for all of these. It is the heart which makes a man, or a beast, what he is, and governs all his actions (Pr. 4:23). Character, personality, will, mind are modern terms which all reflect something of the meaning of ‘heart’ in its biblical usage.
B. O. Banwell, “Heart,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 456.
 Contrary to much biblical counseling literature, Paul is not commanding the Ephesians to “put off the old man” and “put on the new man”. As explained by Hoehner in his commentary on Ephesians, Paul is stating that the old man was put off at conversion (Colossians 3:10). Thus, in the present one is being renewed in the spirit of the mind; Romans 12:2. The heart is undergoing renovation:
“that you have laid aside.” The verb apoqhmi means to “put away, to store” or in the middle
voice it can be rendered, “to put away from, to lay aside” or “to put off” a garment. . . . In the
present context it has the idea of putting off and laying aside with the contrast in verse 24 of
putting on the new person. The aorist middle infinitive has the idea of an inceptive act that may
have reference to conversion. Also, the lexical verbs of putting off and putting on of clothing
emphasizes accomplished events rather than the process of activities. The middle voice
emphasizes that the subject receives the benefits of his or her action. It is not reflexive idea, for
the person could not do it by his or her own strength. Hence, believers were taught that they
have put off or have laid aside the old person at conversion.
The old person, found in Rom 6:6 and Col 3:9, is the preconversion unregenerate person. Paul
then is teaching that, having been taught in him, believers should know that the old person
according to the former lifestyle was laid aside at the time of their faith in the one who taught
them, namely, Christ.
Harold E. Hoehner, Ephesians, An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007),
603 & 605.
Paul stresses the believer’s solidarity with Christ. Since a believer is “in Christ” and since Christ is in heaven, the believer is “in the heavenlies” (en tois epouraniois). Accordingly, God has blessed the believer “in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). This precise phrase occurs only five times in the New Testament, and only in Ephesians (1:3; 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12). The believer’s heavenly blessings depend on Christ’s heavenly session (Eph. 1:20) and the spiritual union each believer shares “with Christ” (Eph. 2:6). God does not merely apply the ministry of Christ to believers. He sees believers with Christ wherever he is—and he is now in heaven. Believers are commanded to adopt an earthly lifestyle of dying to sin and living to righteousness (Rom. 6:4), and to set their minds on the heavenly reality that will soon be revealed in Christ (Col. 4:1–4). In other words, believers should live consistently with who, and where, they really are.
Walter A. Elwell and Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Baker Reference Library; Logos Library System (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996).
 John Calvin, Psalms, electronic ed., Calvin’s Commentaries (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998), Ps 51:17.
 J. M. Neale and R. F. Littledale, eds., A Commentary on the Psalms from Primitive and Mediæval Writers: Psalm 39 to Psalm 80, vol. 2 (London; New York: Joseph Masters; Pott and Amery, 1868), 180.
(some quick notes)
Proverbs 22:6 has been the hope and the dashed hope of many parents:
6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
While there is a tendency for children to follow after their parents’ instruction, there are many instances of parents from careful, loving parents who find their children become something quite a bit different than they had hoped. In practice, this proverb seems to not hold its promise as well as it seems like should.
The usual response is that the proverbs are general statements and not universal promises (this is true). All of the proverbs must be read together (as well as the rest of the scripture) – we can’t pluck one sentence out and make it more definitive than it is (which is true).
However, there may be a better way to understand this proverb. I first heard this reading suggested by Dr. John Street (TMC), and I have since found it to be both a better translation linguistically and a better understanding pastorally.
Here’s the Hebrew (don’t worry if you can’t follow the letters).
Proverbs 22:6 (BHS/WHM 4.2)
6 חֲנֹ֣ךְ לַ֭נַּעַר עַל־פִּ֣י דַרְכּ֑וֹ גַּ֥ם כִּֽי־יַ֝זְקִ֗ין לֹֽא־יָס֥וּר מִמֶּֽנָּה׃
First word: hnk: it is an imperative. It means to “train up” or “dedicate”. The word is used in three other places: Deuteronomy 20:5, 1 Kings 8:63 & 2 Chronicles 7:5 where it refers to “dedicating” something, turning it over to a use.
If we take the otherwise translated meaning, we have “Dedicate a child” that is, turn a child over to … what? That is the question.
Here is some more on the word:
ḥānak is best understood as “inaugurate.” There is not in the term itself the notion that dedication is to someone or to something, though that concept is present in the synonyms. With one exception (Prov 22:6, where the meaning is “start”; cf. neb), ḥānak and its derivates refer to an action in connection with structures such as a building (I Kgs 8:63), wall (Neh 12:27), an altar (Num 7:10), or an image (Dan 3:2).
ḥānak is almost certainly a community action which in the case of cult structures involves offerings. The ceremony of dedication (ḥănūkkâ) for Solomon’s altar extended over seven days (II Chr 7:9). Dedication of Solomon’s temple as well as the temple at Ezra’s time was marked by numerous sacrifices (I Kgs 8:63; Ezr 6:17).
Victor P. Hamilton, “693 חָנַך,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 301.
1) TO MAKE NARROW, and intrans. TO BE NARROW, enge fehn, i.q. חָנַק, עָנַק, which see. Hence חֵךְ for חֵנֶךְ, Arab. حَنَكُ jaws; compare עֲנָק a neck, (from the kindred root עָנַק, ) & הָנַק to strangle.
(2) denom. from חֵךְ, حَنَكُ jaws, palate, properly ἐμβύειν, to put something into the mouth, to give to be tasted; then by a common metaphor, in which taste is applied to understanding (see טַעַם and Job 12:11)—(a) to imbue some one with any thing, to instruct, to train up (compare نشع to put something into one’s mouth, also to instruct, to train). Pro. 22:6, “train up a child according to his way,” as to his manners and habits. It is thus applied to inanimate things, hence—(b) to initiate, a house (that is to dedicate, or to commence to use). Deu. 20:5, the temple, 1 Kings 8:63; 2 Chr. 7:5. (Arabic حَنَكَ to understand. As to the meaning to perceive as ascribed to the Æth. ሐነከ፡ it does not rest upon sufficient authority; see Ludolfi Lex. Æth., page 40, whilst the additional meanings to know, to perceive by the sense, are altogether incorrect).
Wilhelm Gesenius and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2003), 292.
Next word: lan‘ar: a boy, a child (it is male, but it can be used generically of children). As used in the Proverbs, it usually means a “foolish child” – because children haven’t learned anything yet. The “simple” in the Proverbs are those who simply don’t know. Proverbs 1:4, 7:7, 20:11, 22:6, 22:15, 29:15.
Here is the tricky part
‘al-piy: according to the mouth of
Darekko: His way
The rest is simply: because when he is old, he will not turn from it (literally turn from “her”. “Way” (path, course of life) is feminine in Hebrew.
The phrase “according to his mouth” is used 50 times in the Hebrew OT. Most uses refer to something which is said (such as a command; see, e.g., 2 Kings 24:3). However, Leviticus 24:12 translates the phrase there as “the will of” (the LORD).
Thus, the phrase means “the way he wants to go” – that is what the child desires to do.
The LXX does not have this Proverb (the text goes from v. 5 to v. 7); so we have no help there.
Waltke (who is the great expert here) states that Grammatically and rhetorically the proverb could be translated as, “Dedicate a youth according to his foolish way, and when he is old he will not depart from it!”
Even though that is the straightforward reading, he goes and says, it can’t really mean that. The sarcasm of the proverb seems to sharp. Waltke argues that old age is crowned with glory (Prov. 20:29). But an old fool with grey hair is still a fool – so I don’t find that persuasive.
When we look at the surrounding proverbs (which may give a hint) we have warnings of what NOT to do: V. 5: keep away or suffer the consequence. V. 7: Don’t borrow, or suffer the consequence. V. 8, don’t be unjust, or suffer the consequence.
And so, dedicate your child to his desire and he’ll be happy to go there – and stay there.
The parallel here may be:
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:15 (ESV)
Murphy (Word Commentary) calls the key clause “according to the mouth of his way” “obscure Hebrew” and merely goes with the “”common translation,” “The way he should go”.
עַל־פִידַרְכּוֹ can have no other meaning than “according to the standard of his way” (Gen. 43:7; Lev. 27:8, etc.), i.e., according to the way that is determined for him, according to the calling and the manner of life for which he is intended. With this interpretation, which is as simple as it is pertinent, HITZIG’S emendation may be dismissed as superfluous: עַל־פִּירֻכּוֹ, “according to his tenderness, since he is still tender.” [Notwithstanding the “simplicity” of the interpretation “in accordance with his way, or his going,” three different meanings have been found in it. It may be, a) “his way” in the sense of his own natural and characteristic style and manner,—and then his training will have reference to that to which he is naturally fitted; or b), the way in life which he is intended by parents or guardians to pursue; or c) the way in which he ought to go. The last is moral and relates to the general Divine intention concerning man’s earthly course; the second is human and economical; the first is individual and to some extent even physical. Yet although the third presents the highest standard and has been generally adopted and used where little account is made of the original, it has the least support from the Hebrew idiom. So DE W., B., K., S., H. (?), and others.—A.]
John Peter Lange, Philip Schaff, et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Proverbs (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 192.
Train up a child in the way he should go: Train up a child is rather unnatural English, but the sense is clear. Other English versions say “teach children,” “give children training,” or “start a child.” The way he should go could refer to what is good and right in life, which may be expressed as “in the right way” (NRSV) or “on the right road” (REB). Or it may have the sense of training for life, as in “Teach children how they should live” (TEV) or “Give a lad the training he needs for life” (Scott). A common rendering in Pacific languages is “Teach children to do what is right.”
William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 463–465.
The NET note reads:
tn The expression in Hebrew is עַל־פִּידַּרְכּוֹ (’al-pi darko), which can be rendered “according to his way”; NEB “Start a boy on the right road.” The expression “his way” is “the way he should go”; it reflects the point the book of Proverbs is making that there is a standard of life to which he must attain. Saadia, a Jewish scholar who lived a.d. 882-942, first suggested that this could mean the child should be trained according to his inclination or bent of mind. This may have some merit in practice, but it is not likely what the proverb had in mind. In the book of Proverbs there are only two ways that a person can go, the way of the wise or righteousness, and the way of the fool. One takes training, and the other does not. Ralbag, in fact, offered a satirical interpretation: “Train a child according to his evil inclinations (let him have his will) and he will continue in his evil way throughout life” (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 234). C. H. Toy says the expression means “in accordance with the manner of life to which he is destined (Proverbs [ICC], 415). W. McKane says, “There is only one right way – the way of life – and the educational discipline which directs young men along this way is uniform” (Proverbs [OTL], 564). This phrase does not describe the concept perpetuated by a modern psychological interpretation of the verse: Train a child according to his personality trait.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me,
19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.
20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun,
21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun?
23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
Usage: AHeart@ is used 69 times in the book of Proverbs (NASB). Fox summarizes the details as follows, The Aheart is the locus and organ of thought and the faculty of understanding . . . . the intellectual exercise of the mind is not really detached from the emotional and the modern dichotomy is artificial.@ This definition well covers the evidence. The Aheart@ is central control; it is the heart of human life. It is a place of cognitive determination (2:2) and the place of desire (6:25 & 7:25; 23:17). It is the locus of information, whether good or evil (2:10; 3:3; 4:21; 7:30; 14:33; 22:15; 26:24; 26: 25). The son is commanded to store wisdom in the heart (7:3). The information in the heart is not solely cognitive or moral: it also holds the affections (14:10; 24:17).
Being the locus of information and font of desire (which as Edwards notes leads to will) the heart has the ability to determine both conduct and emotion (7:25: 6:14; 14:30; 17:22; 23:19; 23:26). It can even lead to disease or heath (14:30 ; 17:22). The movement from information and desire to conduct is not solely spontaneous, but also includes deliberate planning (6:18; 7:10;
Since information and desire within the heart couple to give rise to behavior and emotion, the overt conduct conveys information concerning the subjective state of the heart (10:20; 12:20; 12;23; 12:25; 15:7; 15:13; 15:15; 16:23; 22:11; 27:19). One can fairly reference the heart based upon the objective status of the human: AThe wise in heart will be called understanding@ (16:21).
This correspondence between the content and the heart and conduct supports a synecdoche by which the heart answers for the entire man. Thus, the reference in 2:2 to Aincline the heart@>is another idiomatic expression meaning Acommit yourself to Y= as seen in the following three examples: AThe wise of heart will receive commands@ (10:8; see also, 21:4; 23:15; 26:23). AThe heart of the wicked is worth little@ (10:20). AThe perverse in heart are an abomination before the Lord@ (11:20).
Yet, care must always be taken when evaluating the content of the heart from objective conduct, because the heart is capable of overt deceit (6:10; 23:7; 26:23-24). Longman writes of 14:10, A[N]o one can really know what is going on emotionally insider another person.@ And, Athe heart of the king is unsearchable@ (25:3; see also, 23:7). The problem with evaluation of the heart exists even with self-evaluation: ATo trust in one=s own heart . . .is the epitome of folly@.
The heart exists in a recursive system: information flows outward from the heart into will and conduct; and, information flows inward from conduct and the environment: which information flows affects the state of the heart (13:12; 15:30; 25:20; 27:9; 27:11; 31:11).
The heart does not exist in a hermetic naturalistic system. While the creature, in all manifestations, does interact with the heart, so does the Creator: The heart Alies open@ before God (15:11). God controls the heart, and thus controls behavior (16:1; 19:21; 21:1). God responds to and judges the heart (17:3). As it reads in Proverbs 16:5: AEveryone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.@ The heart itself can foolishly Arage against the Lord@ (19:3).
Since the heart is the true center of the human, both for the source and the reception of natural and supramundane information, it appropriate to direct commands to the heart (3:1; 3:3; 4:4; 23:12). This critical and control element of the man requires the utmost care and concern. Hence, the command in Proverb 3:25 (ESV), AKeep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.@
 A>Heart= (Hebrew leb) seems to be a word that in Proverbs is used to describe the entire internal life of a person.10 It is an internal reflection of the man (19:8, 20:5, 27:19). In Proverbs the uses of the word break down into the following percentages: it is the center of emotions (21%), reason (40%), behavior (3%), and volition (14%).11 The dominant feature seems to be the rational element.@ George Schwab, AThe Proverbs and the Art of Persuasion,@ The Journal of Biblical Counseling 14, no. 1 (Fall 1995), 8. AIn biblical anthropology, heart has to do with man=s relationship either to God or to false gods of world, flesh and devil. The issue of the heart is the question, >Who or what rules me? For which voice(s) do I have ears?=@ David Powlison, ACritiquing Modern Integrationists,@ The Journal of Biblical Counseling (Spring 1993): 27.
 Michael Fox, Proverbs 1‑9 (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 109.
 AIt is from the heart that life derives. . . . The heart can remain beating, but a person be dead in other ways. An evil heart is a dead heart@ (Longman, 154).
 Patrick Simon paraphrases this command in part with, A[W]ith sincere affection applying thy mind to understanding they duty@ (Patrik Simon, The Proverbs of Solomon Paraphrased with Arguments of Each Chapter (London: M. Flesher, 1683), 23). Proverbs 2:2 presents an interesting exegetical problem: The heart is elsewhere credited with acting, desiring, planning et cetera (examples of such usage will be provided below). In 2:2, the son is told to move his heart toward some end. What then is to incline the heart if it is not the heart, itself? Longman explains of this verse, AThe heart represents what we would call the basic personality or character of a person. Though >heart= stands for the whole inner person, on occasions the cognitive. . . . More than the simple act of hearing is involved in the reception of the father=s teaching; one must be predisposed toward wisdom to benefit from it.@ Longman, 119-120. It seems that the heart must incline itself to respond to this command. Perhaps the best way to understand this command is to understand the desire, hence will is to cause the heart to incline its cognitive faculties.
 By incorporating information into the heart, it Awill become an integral part of the son=s character@ (Longman, 122; see, also, William Arnott, Laws From Heaven for Life on Earth (New York: T. Nelson and Sons, 1873), 67).
 Moses Stuart, A Commentary on the Book of Proverbs (Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1870), 167. Here the Aheart@ Astand[s] for his core personality@ (Longman, 131).
 Longman, 408.
 Staurt, 207.
 See, Jonathan Edwards, The Freedom of the Will, Part I, chapters 1 & 2.
 Respecting 6:14, Longman writes, AThe heart is the core of a person form which emanate all actions, motives, and speech. The heart of an evil person is bent on evil@ (Longman, 174).
 The verbs Adenote habitual action@ (Stuart, 199); see, Longman, 307.
 Longman, 349-350.
 The heart of the fool seems to be unable to plan to receive knowledge (Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Proverbs of Solomon, Vol. I, trans. M.G. Easton, D.D. (New York: T & T Clark, 1884), 319‑20).
 Delitzsch 1884, 331.
 The Scripture evidence being consistent with logical inference. In light of both the plain meaning of the verses and the deduction from the inference, I posit this is a proper exegetical conclusion.
 Longman, 239.
 Arnott, 318-322.
 Longman, 336.
 AIt all begins with a pure heart@ (Longman, 407).
William David Reyburn, Euan Fry: UBS Handbook Series; Helps for Translators: A Handbook on Proverbs. (New York : United Bible Societies, 2000) S. 54.
 AThe reference to her >guarded heart= is difficult. It may point out that though her actions are outgoing, her motives are hidden. She is loud, but one does not really know what is going on inside of her since she keeps it hidden. It points out just how dangerous she is@ (Longman, 189).
 Longman, 470.
 Longman, 299.
 AIt may also warn them about trying to psychoanalyze the monarch@ (Longman, 451).
 Longman, 496-497.
 Longman, 343.
11 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
1 Then the LORD said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go!
2 And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: “‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,
20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
1 John 5:16-17:
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life-to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.
17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
22 And have mercy on those who doubt;
23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.
6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
7 To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you.
8 To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him
10 and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him.
12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem.
13 As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the LORD our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth.
14 Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice.
15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
16 “O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us.
17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate.
18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”
The demands of the physical body seeks to bend the desire and soul to the present need. One in physical pain can be overwhelmed by the immediate need to resolve the pain:
18 “But the mountain falls and crumbles away, and the rock is removed from its place;
19 the waters wear away the stones; the torrents wash away the soil of the earth; so you destroy the hope of man.
20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes; you change his countenance, and send him away.
21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
22 He feels only the pain of his own body, and he mourns only for himself.”
The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.
While Jesus sympathizes with our weakness (Heb. 4:15), we must also realize that our physical difficulties do not compel our behavior. For this I give the example of Jesus who in overwhelming physical distress continue to submit to the will of the Father:
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.
40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,
42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow,
46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:40-46. Thus, the counselor must both sympathize with the weakness of another; yet, we must not go the step further and state that the end of alleviating physical pain justifies the means of any escape:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Cor. 10:13
The first part is found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/how-must-we-govern-our-tongues-part-1/
C. The tongue possesses a capacity for sin like no other aspect of our lives: It is a “world of iniquity” (James 3:6). It injures the speaker, the hearer, and the one of who the tale is told.
1. The tongue flies at everyone and everything: The one who would not strike an authority will slander the same. As Peter writes of the false teachers, “Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,” 2 Peter 2:10 (ESV). Jude adds, “9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively” Jude 9–10 (ESV).
2. The tongue, like an uncontrollable water house, flies about in every vein of sin: The tongue will lie to destroy or flatter; the tongue can poison whether we are in a good or bad mood; it is always ready to destroy and has a means for every opportunity and time.
3. It can destroy like nothing else: it can destroy a person’s reputation, marriage, job, life. Its darts sink deepest, and its wounds heal slowest of any other. (Psalm 69:19, 21.) And in this respect the tongue may be expressed not only by a rod, by a scourge, by a sword, but by the sting and poison of a serpent, to note the anguish of its biting, and the difficulty of its curing. (Psalm 140:3; 42:10; Prov. 14:3.)
D. What Conclusions Should We Draw From This?
1. We should do everything necessary to control the tongue: we should treat it like a dog known to bite; or, (as West puts it)That in all reason and righteousness such a member should be strictly kept-in, even as an ox that is wont to goring.
2. That if we keep it not in, God will cut it out:: God will need to eventually correct his children to prevent their sin. Thus, with Ananias and Sapphira, God brought their death to stop their sin (Acts 5:1-10). God punished the unquestioned unbeliever Herod for his sin (Acts 12:23).
II The Excellence of the Tongue: When properly governed, the tongue has power to do excellent good.
A. The Tongue Permits to Speak to God: Consider throughout the Psalms, the psalmists call out to God to see his circumstances, to rescue from one’s enemies (Psalm 3); to hear his prayer (Psalm 5); to cease from correction (Psalm 6); to remember and come near (Psalm 13); et cetera. The prophets set forth many such prayers (Habakkuk 1:1-3).
B. The Tongue permits us to praise and thank God: The Psalms are again filled with such praise. And example of such praise, remembrance, and thanksgiving can be found in Psalm 105; see, e.g., Psalm 51:15, 145:21).
C. To Bring Rebels Into Reconciliation With God: 2 Corinthians 5:16–21 (ESV)
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
D. Believers can encourage, exhort, comfort, bless one-another: Proverbs 10:21 (ESV)The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense. Proverbs 10:11 (ESV) The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. See, also Proverbs 12:18 & 15:4. The entire Bible is a book of words. The proclamation of Jesus lies at the heart of the Christian’s duty, Matthew 28:18-20.
1. The Advantage to Others: Since our tongues can bring such good, we should use diligence to bring our tongues to order.
2. God Delights in Ordering our Tongues: God delights to do the things he commands. 16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Malachi 3:16–17 (ESV)
III It is the Glory of a Man to Govern His Tongue:
A. General Observations:
1. Not Speaking: Proverbs 17:28 (ESV) Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
2. Foolish Speaking Makes a Fool: Proverbs 10:18–19 (ESV) 18 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. 19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
3. Control is Mark Of Godliness: James 3:2 (ESV) For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
4. Impotence: Whereas, on the other hand, he is fit for nothing that has a loose and licentious tongue; and it is generally a token of an impotent man.
5. A Worse Friend: As bad a neighbour as he is, he is yet a worse friend: he trifles away our time, he tires our patience, he betrays our trusts: there can be no confidence in him; we must still be upon the watch; one may as well make a whole town our friend as such an one. But yet, too, a much worse relation he makes: it is next [to] dwelling in a mill, to dwell with him; his clack is always going, only not in so good tune and order as that we allude to. The wise man could not think of a condition so intolerable as the being yoked with such a relation (Prov. 25:24).
B. The Measure of Right Government
1. Don’t Be Too Silent: Though it is rare, there are times when we should speak.
a. We should speak when justice will be denied or obstructed. When our silence permits wickedness to flourish, we have sinned. Jeremiah 1 gives a vivid picture of God requiring speech.
b. We should be speak to promote love, comfort or good. There many commands to affirmatively speak to our fellows: Hebrews 3:12-13; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 4:19-20; Lev. 19:17; Matt. 18:15-20.
c. If our own spirits be soured by it.—Words kept-in are, many times, like humours struck-in,—go to the heart and offend the vital parts. Maliciousness, censoriousness, are often so fed; vent might give relief in this case, and be the only means for our cure, immoderately and discreetly given. Proverbs 28:13 (ESV) 13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
d. Where it would offend those about us: There are times when keeping silence will be a grief to those about us: “you had as good send your horse among them, if you will not converse like a man with them.”
e. If God’s cause requires public testimony: Matthew 21:15-16; Luke 19:40.
2. Don’t Speak Too Much:
a. When talking excludes thinking: Don’t talk if you have not thought: “but it is an intolerable presumption upon men to entertain them with words more crude than our belches, that we fetch not so low as our breath, and that little differ from an ass’s braying.”
b. When we should listen, particularly where someone more appropriated and fitted to the occasion can and will speak. James 1:19 (ESV) Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
c. When talking stops work – our work, the work of others, or the honor of Christ. These are people who keep others distracted at work and away from their work. 1 Timothy 5:13 (ESV) 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.
3. Wisdom lies between these Extremes
 West has the quaint line, “The tongue is a very mischievous outlaw, no member like it, if it get loose.”
 There is the strange thought of why does God ordain Psalm of himself in the Psalms. C.S. Lewis provides an extraordinary and insightful observation, discussed here, http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/27-c-s-lewiss-most-important-discovery/
1 Peter 5:8-9, Accountability, Avoiding Temptation, Biblical Counseling, Brooks, Hebrews 10:24-25, Hebrews 3:12-13, John Owen, Matthew, Matthew 5:27–30, Memorization, Mortification, Prayer, Precious Remedies Against Satans Devices, Proverbs, Proverbs 7:6–13, Puritan, Repentance, temptation, Thomas Brooks
The first device is that sin allures with its promise, while concealing its true intention: our destruction. This device was discussed here:
The “remedies” to the device are two-fold in type: First, avoid the temptation. Second, realize the deceit of the temptation.
Avoid the temptation:
Anselm used to say, “That if he should see the shame of sin on the one hand, and the pains of hell on the other, and must of necessity choose one; he would rather be thrust into hell without sin; than to go into heaven with sin,” so great was his hatred and detestation of sin. It is our wisest and our safest course to stand at the farthest distance from sin; not to go near the house of the harlot—but to fly from all appearance of evil (Proverbs 5:8, 1 Thess. 5:22). The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance from it; he who will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit. Joseph keeps at a distance from sin, and from playing with Satan’s golden baits, and stands. David draws near, and plays with the bait, and falls, and swallows bait and hook! David comes near the snare, and is taken in it, to the breaking of his bones, the wounding of his conscience, and the loss of fellowship with his God.
Proverbs makes much use of this principle. The young man who falls into adultery has been wandering in the adulteress’s neighborhood:
6 For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, 7 and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, 8 passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house 9 in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. 10 And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. 11 She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; 12 now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. 13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, Proverbs 7:6–13 (ESV)
Therefore, Solomon lays great stress upon avoiding the opportunity for sin:
20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. 24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. Proverbs 4:20–27 (ESV)
The Christian must make every effort to cut off the opportunity for temptation. Jesus illustrates this with the hyperbole of cutting off parts of one’s own body:
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matthew 5:27–30 (ESV)
How does one turn this into practical counseling instruction? First, learn the nature and time of temptation. A temptation journal can be quite helpful in this instance: all that is necessary is that one records the times of greatest temptation. Time, place, thought. Interestingly, the mere fact of actually considering the time and place of temptation will have a deterrent effect: temptation acts like a kind of fog, an intoxication – a splash of cold water may bring on his senses.
Now, the goal here is not behavior modification, but rather living in wisdom. We are to “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). The flesh takes strength from sin’s opportunity:
And herein lies no small part of its power, which we are inquiring after,—it can admit of no terms of peace, of no composition. There may be a composition where there is no reconciliation,—there may be a truce where there is no peace; but with this enemy we can obtain neither the one nor the other. It is never quiet, conquering nor conquered; which was the only kind of enemy that the famous warrior complained of of old. It is in vain for a man to have any expectation of rest from his lust but by its death; of absolute freedom but by his own. Some, in the tumultuating of their corruptions, seek for quietness by labouring to satisfy them, “making provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” as the apostle speaks, Rom. 13:14. This is to aslake fire by wood and oil. As all the fuel in the world, all the fabric of the creation that is combustible, being cast into the fire, will not at all satisfy it, but increase it; so is it with satisfaction given to sin by sinning,—it doth but inflame and increase. If a man will part with some of his goods unto an enemy, it may satisfy him; but enmity will have all, and is not one whit the more satisfied than if he had received nothing at all,—like the lean cattle that were never the less hungry for having devoured the fat. You cannot bargain with the fire to take but so much of your houses; ye have no way but to quench it. It is in this case as it is in the contest between a wise man and a fool: Prov. 29:9, “Whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.” Whatever frame or temper he be in, his importunate folly makes him troublesome. It is so with this indwelling sin: whether it violently tumultuate, as it will do on provocations and temptations, it will be outrageous in the soul; or whether it seem to be pleased and contented, to be satisfied, all is one, there is no peace, no rest to be had with it or by it. Had it, then, been of any other nature, some other way might have been fixed on; but seeing it consists in enmity, all the relief the soul hath must lie in its ruin.
John Owen, vol. 6, The Works of John Owen., ed. William H. Goold (Edinburg: T&T Clark), 177-78.
And so, avoiding temptation will not make one holy; but, it is a necessary element in wisdom and growth in holiness.
Second, memorize, meditate, pray to avoid temptation. Verses such as those quoted above, or other similar texts such as 1 Peter 5:8-9 can be used. Drawing a store of these verses into the heart can be of great benefit to become one who avoids temptation.
Third, bring other men or women into your life who will exhort and encourage you to avoid temptation. The congregation is to be a store of such exhortation (Hebrews 3:12-13, 10:24-25).
Fourth, read secondary materials (something in addition to Scripture) to encourage you in this work.