“All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.” - Proverbs 16:2 (Cf. 12:15; 21:2).
          Proverbs 16 is an extremely interesting chapter in the Book.  There are quite a number of passage or groups of verse throughout the Book that one might “swear” were written by an author from our own day and age.  This verse is one of the truths that is put forth that we might be convinced came directly out of the headlines of the past few days.  With our Presidential election last Tuesday and all of the turmoil that has gone on day in and day out I have become increasingly convinced (or is it reminded?) that the vast majority of people are far more enamored of their own thinking that they (or is it we?) have any right to be. 
2  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the
Lord weighs the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2)
          Solomon was very clear, here and in other places, that it is essential that we recognize two things as believers: 
  • First, it is clear that the implication, or the intended application of the verse has to do more with the actions a man takes and where they “come from” or what in the prompting force from inside of them; more than just a question of thinking the right thoughts. 
  • Second, I believe he also wants us to see that in and of ourselves, we are without resource to do and act in a fashion that is acceptable to God and profitable to those around us.  We need to pursue God and His Word in order that our “ways” be what they ought to be. 
  • Third, I think we need to recognize the we are not “naturally” right in what we are faced with or are considering/grappling with.  Rather, we MUST recognize that it is in our natural makeup to need be instructed and corrected by the Word of God.  This what is implied  by “But the Lord weighs the spirits
          To take this thought just a bit further… “But” is a contrastive conjunction.  It ties the first part of the verse to the second part of the verse in a “contrasting” fashion, implying that there is a real difference between the two, different in a virtually opposite fashion. 
2  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2)
          The idea is that men trust their own thinking on a matter; BUT it is God Who both has and exercises the evaluation of the promptings and motivations of men.  What Solomon is seeking to put forth to his readers is that those two evaluative methods are in conflict with one another.  The obvious implication that there is a path to be taken here, that being that men OUGHT to keep an awareness that their own opinions and evaluations are suspect and often in error. 

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