The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Taking the words as they stand before us, they give the idea that all goodness in man is from God.
1. The goodness in the heart is from Him. "The preparations of the heart in man." The margin reads "disposings." All the right disposings of the heart toward the real, the holy, and the Divine, are from the Lord. How does He dispose the heart to goodness? Not arbitrarily, not miraculously, not in any way that interferes with the free agency of man. He has avenues to the human heart of which we know nothing.
(1) That He is the author of all goodness in the soul.
(2) That we are bound to labour after this goodness.
2. Taking the words of the text as in our version, they teach that goodness in language is from God. "And the answer of the tongue." The language is but the expression of the heart. But the words as they stand are not true to the original. A literal translation would be this: "To man the orderings of the heart, but from Jehovah the answer of the tongue." "Man proposes, God disposes."
I. THIS IS AN UNDOUBTED FACT. A fact sustained —
1. By the character of God. All the plans formed in the human heart must necessarily be under the control of Him who is all-wise, and all-powerful. They cannot exist without His knowledge, they cannot advance without His permission, a fact sustained —
2. By the history of men. Take for examples the purposes of Joseph's brethren, of Pharaoh in relation to Moses; of the Jews in relation to Christ, etc. A fact sustained —
3. By our own experience. Who has not found the schemes of his own heart taking a direction never contemplated by the author?
II. THIS IS A MOMENTOUS FACT —
1. In its bearing on the enemies of God. Sinner, your most cherished schemes, whatever they may be, sensual, avaricious, infidel, are under the control of Him against whom you rebel; He will work them for your confusion, and His own glory. It is momentous —
2. In its bearing on the friends of God. It is all-encouraging to them. He maketh the wrath of man to praise Him (Psalm 76:10). Trust in Him.
Parallel VersesKJV: The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.