The Mind of Man and the Mind of God
Proverbs 19:21
There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Here is a contrast which we do well to consider. Between our human spiritual nature and that of the Divine Spirit it is possible to find resemblances and contrasts. Both are interesting and instructive.

I. THE THOUGHTS OF MAN'S MIND. We know how fugitive these are; how they come and go like the flash of the lightning; and even those which linger are but short-lived, they soon give place to others. Even those thoughts which become "fixed," which settle down into plans and purposes, have but a brief tenure in our brain; they, too, pass away and make room for others in their turn. Our thoughts are:

1. Fluctuating and therefore many. We care for one pleasure, we pursue one object now; but in a few weeks, or even days, we may weary of the one, we may be compelled to turn our attention from the other.

2. Feeble and therefore many. We propose and adopt one method, but it fails; and then we try another, and that fails; then we resort to a third, which also fails. We pass from thought to thought, from plan to plan; our very feebleness accounting for the manifoldness of our devices.

3. False and therefore many. We hold certain theories today; tomorrow they will be exploded, and we shall entertain another; before long that will yield to a third.

4. Sinful and therefore many. Nothing that is wrong can last; it must be dethroned, because it is evil, immoral, guilty.

5. Selfish and therefore many. We are concerning ourselves supremely about our own affairs or those of our family; but these are passing interests, changing with the flitting hours.

II. THE THOUGHTS WHICH ARE IN THE MIND OF GOD. His counsel stands (text). "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11). God's purpose holds from age to age. For:

1. He rules in righteousness. He is governing the world by Divine and unchanging principles. "With him is no variableness," because he ever loves what is righteous and hates what is unholy and impure and unkind. He cannot change his course, because he cannot change his character.

2. He is working out one great beneficent conclusion. He is redeeming a lost world, reconciling it unto himself, uprooting the multiform sources of wrong and wretchedness, establishing the blessed kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on the earth.

3. He has ample time and power at his command; he has no need to change his plan, to resort to "devices." His eternal thought moves on His undisturbed affairs; and is working out a glorious consummation which nothing shall avail to avert.

4. His perfect wisdom makes quite unnecessary the adoption of any other course than that which he is employing.

(1) Steadfastness is one sign of wisdom. If we see a man or a Church perpetually changing its methods, we may be sure that it is weak.

(2) Let us make God's great and holy purpose ours;

(a) for it is that with which our eternal interest is bound up;

(b) it is certain to be victorious.

3. Let us work on for our Lord and with him, in the calmness that becomes those who are confident of ultimate success. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

WEB: There are many plans in a man's heart, but Yahweh's counsel will prevail.

The Mind of Man and the Mind of God
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