Saturday, September 15, 2007
"Not only is the heart unsearchable, but it is also deceitful. 'The heart is deceitful above all things' (Jer 17:9). There are many deceitful things in the world, whether in politics, in business, or in societies in general. But in the fraudulence of the world there is nothing that is not already in the heart. The heart itself is deceitful. So when the deceitfulness of sin is added to the heart, there is much deceitfulness indeed. ...The deceitfulness of the heart lies chiefly in two things. First, it abounds in contradictions, so that it defies logic and consistency. There are some people whose lives appear contradictory. They are both wise and yet foolish, open and yet reserved, facile and yet obstinate, nonvindictive and yet revengeful. So is the deceitfulness of the heart of every man, whether it be flaming hot or stone cold, weak or stubborn. ...Second, the deceit of the heart lies in its many promises upon the first appearances of things. Sometimes the affections are touched and worked upon, and the heart disposes well. But soon the whole framework is changed, and all the fair promises of the heart evaporate. These false promises only promote the interest and advantages of sin. Thus God warns His people to look at their hearts lest their hearts entice and deceive them. Yet you may well aks, 'Who can deal with it?' It is not in vain, then, that the Holy Spirit exposes the heart as 'deceitful above all things.' The heart is uncertain in what it does, and it is false in what it promises."
- John Owen