Why does your heart carry you away? and what do your eyes wink at,
Eliphaz cannot understand Job. He will assume that the sufferer is guilty, and that, when he protests his innocence and refuses the consolations offered on condition of repentance, the patriarch is betrayed by his own heart into turning his spirit against God. As usual, what Eliphaz says, though it is not applicable directly to Job, still in itself contains an important lesson.
I. WE ARE LED BY OUR HEARTS.
1. The inner life. All life flows outward from hidden, deep-seated springs, as the Jordan at Banias bursts out of the cave of Pan beneath Mount Hermon, a full river, whose secret origin is too remote and deep for any man to discover it.
2. The thought. The heart in the Bible stands for the whole inner life, and therefore it includes the thinking faculty. Now, we are governed largely by our ideas of things; not by things as they are, but by things as they appear to us. Therefore we need to think truly.
3. The affections and desires. We are chiefly moved by what we love. The love of sin is the parent of sin. If the heart is betrayed into entertaining low desires, a degraded conduct follows.
II. OUR HEARTS ARE PRONE TO ERR.
1. In weakness. We have not fixed thoughts and affections. The life within is in continuous change and movement. At the same time, its weakness makes it peculiarly liable to be led astray.
2. In sinful inclination. We inherit tendencies to evil. Our own self-chosen conduct creates habits of evil. Thus our heart tends downward. Left to itself, it will go astray and drag us down to ruin. The human heart is ever wandering and rebellious until it has been renewed.
III. THE WANDERING HEART LEADS TO RUIN. We are tempted to neglect the evil on three accounts.
1. That it is internal. Thus it seems to be a secret thing, not concerned with conduct. But as it is the spring of all our conduct, the excuse is a delusion.
2. That it is under our control. The idea is that we can stop before we have gone too far. We are not the slaves of another, we are our own masters. This is also a delusion, for the heart gets out of control.
3. That it only concerns ourselves. It is only our heart that wanders, and our heart is our own possession. This is to assume that we are not accountable to God. But the supreme Judge takes account of the heart as well as of the outward act, and condemns for heart-sins (Matthew 15:19).
IV. THE WANDERING HEART NEEDS TO BE RENEWED. Sin comes from the heart; then sin must be cured in the heart. Clean hands are of little use without a clean heart.
1. Cleansing. The guilt of sin needs to he washed away; the love and desire of sin also need to be pureed out of the heart. This is so difficult a work that only the Creator can do it. "Create in me a clean heart, O God" (Psalm 51:10).
2. Recovery. The wandering heart must be brought back to God. It is not enough that sin is cast out. The love of God must be planted, and the heart must be restored to fellowship with God. These are blessings which come with the reception of Christ into the heart.
3. Preservation. We are bidden to keep our heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). But we find the treacherous heart eluding our utmost vigilance, and wandering in spite of all our care. Therefore we have to find safety in obeying a second command, "My son, give me thy heart" (Proverbs 23:26). - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,