Sound Heart, Good Bones! – I Proverbs 14:30

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(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Proverbs is an amazing book! Its 31 chapters contain 915 verses, and while King Solomon is the main author, he is not the only contributor to this collection of proverbs. There are about 800 of Solomon’s (‘about’ 800, because many of the proverbs are in two parts and could be considered as either one or two), but the book is supplemented by “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh…” (Proverbs 30:1) and “The words of King Lemuel…” (Proverbs 31:1), both of whom wrote several more proverbs. So practical is the wisdom in this book that The New Open Bible, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, in the explanatory page on “Wisdom”, tells us:

     Biblical wisdom is practical, not theoretical. Hence, 
     the Book of Proverbs is filled with specific details 
     on how to be a wise person. Wise people through the 
     centuries have meditated upon this book and have 
     practiced its precepts. Since there are thirty-one 
     days in many months and thirty-one chapters in this 
     supreme book of everyday wisdom, it is a helpful dis-
     cipline to read a chapter a day until, after years 
     of study, one knows the book thoroughly.

I will begin today to share several Gems from the Book of Proverbs. And the first one (in two parts) that comes to mind is one I memorized years ago, Proverbs 14:30: “A sound heart is the life of the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.

In Hebrew thinking, the heart was more than the blood pumping organ of the body, also more than the seat of emotions (as when we say, “I love you with all my heart ”). Eerdmans’ The New Bible Dictionary, tells us:

     The Hebrews thought [the heart]…was essentially the 
     whole man, with all his attributes, physical, intel-
     lectual, and psychological…the heart was conceived 
     of as the centre of all of these. It is the heart 
     which makes a man… what he is, and governs all his 

What does it mean to have a heart that is sound? Authors Brown, Driver, and Briggs, in their Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament explain the Hebrew word sound, מַרְפֵא (pronounced “mar-pay’ ) means “health, healing, cure…profit, sound (of mind).It is to have correct thinking that results in proper actions before God and toward others!

So why do we need a sound heart? It is because, as Jeremiah 17:9 so succinctly puts it, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? ” Sin entered into the human race through our first parents, and sin has infected every human being since then! (See Romans 5:12). And, as it says in Isaiah 59:2, “…your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” God, in Ezekiel 36:26 calls such a sin-infected heart a “…heart of stone….

     I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit 
     within you; I will take the heart of stone out of 
     your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will 
     put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in 
     My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do 

This miraculous change is accomplished by the new birth! As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This happens when we open our hearts to the Lord, confess that we are lost sinners, and ask Him to be our Savior. But the new birth is only the beginning! A sound heart results from our daily development (growth) in our Christian faith – regular intake of the Bible, prayer, fellowship, worship, witness – obediently following the Lord Jesus Christ!

Why does the heart need to be sound? Because, as it says in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” What issues?

  • Jesus said in Mark 7:21 and 22, “…out of the heart of [unregenerate] men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” (See also Galatians 5:19-21).
  • But the one who is born again has the potential of manifesting “…the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

The Lord told His listeners in Luke 6:45:

     A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings 
     forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of 
     his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance 
     of the heart his mouth speaks.

And He could have added, “…out of the abundance of the heart his hands move, his feet walk, his whole person functions!” But words especially reflect what is the heart. No wonder Jesus warns us in Matthew 12:37, “…by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

But we have explored only half of our featured Scripture: “A sound heart is the life of the body….” What about the second half? “…but envy is rottenness to the bones.” We shall examine that on Friday.

What the Word Will Do Hebrews 4:12,

     …the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper 
     than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the divi-
     sion of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, 
     and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the 
     heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, 
     but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him 
     to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12, 13).

This Gem is a collection of 50 Gems concerning what the Word of God can do in your life……IF you regularly take it in!

The Bible, the Word of God…

  1. Reveals Jesus (see John 5:39)
  2. …and so reveals the Trinity (see John 1:1, 14; John 14:16; Colossians 2:9)
  3. Gives you new birth (see I Peter 1:23)
  4. Help you grow spiritually (see I Peter 2:2)
  5. Gives you a true image of who you are (see James 1:22-25)
  6. Makes you wise (see I Timothy 3:15; Psalm 119:98)
  7. Makes you perfect and equips you for all good works (see II Timothy 3:16)
  8. Fills you with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18-21 with Colossians 3:16-18)
  9. …resulting in the Fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22, 23)
  10. Pierces deep and discerns your heart – your innermost being (see Hebrews 4:12)
  11. The spiritual weapon with which we fight Satan and put his forces to flight (see Ephesians 6:17)
  12. Gives you examples to follow (see I Corinthians 10:11)
  13. Helps us to escape the corruption of the world and become like Jesus (see II Peter 1:4)
  14. Transforms you by renewing your mind (see Romans 12:2)
  15. Builds your faith (see Romans 10:17)
  16. Sanctifies you (see John 17:17)
  17. Gives you peace (see John 16:33; Psalm 119:165)
  18. Gives you fulness of joy in your life (see John 15:11; Jeremiah 15:16)
  19. Helps with answers to prayer (see John 15:7)
  20. Spiritually feeds you (see Matthew 4:4; Jeremiah 15:16; Colossians 3:10)
  21. Multiplies your days as heaven upon the earth (see Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
  22. Gives Godly prosperity and good success (see Joshua 1:7, 8)
  23. Gives proper view of prosperity (see Proverbs 3:5, 6; III John 1:2, 3)
  24. Blesses you (see Psalm 119:1, 2)
  25. Negates fear (see Psalm 56:3, 4)
  26. Keeps you from sin (see Psalm 119:3, 11)
  27. Keeps you from being ashamed (see Psalm 119:6; II Timothy 2:15)
  28. Provides cleansing for your soul (see Psalm 119:9)
  29. Gives you delight (see Psalm 119:24, 35, 143, 174)
  30. Provides strength of soul (see Psalm 119:28)
  31. Gives you an proper answer for those who oppose you (see Psalm 119:42)
  32. Gives you liberty (see Psalm 119:45)
  33. Gives you a testimony, a witness (see Psalm 119:46, 172)
  34. Provides soul comfort (see Psalm 119:52)
  35. Keeps you from going astray (see Psalm 119:67)
  36. Gives you true riches (see Psalm 119:93)
  37. Gives you a spiritually sound heart (see Psalm 119:80)
  38. Keeps you strong in trials (see Psalm 119:92)
  39. Gives you life (see Psalm 119:93; I Peter 1:23)
  40. Gives you proper understanding (see Psalm 119:99, 104)
  41. Gives you Godly light (see Psalm 119:105, 130)
  42. Gives you rejoicing in your heart (see Psalm 119:111)
  43. Gives you Godly fear (see Psalm 119:120)
  44. Gives you hope (see Psalm 119:114, 147)
  45. Delivers you from the power fo sin (see Psalm 119:133)
  46. Gives you concern for the spiritual state of others (see Psalm 119:136, 139)
  47. Teaches you the truth (see Psalm 119:142, 151, 160)
  48. Revives you (see Psalm 119:25, 154, 156)
  49. Puts praises in your soul (see Psalm 119:175)
  50. Puts praises on your lips (see Psalm 119:164, 171)

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these 50 will sure keep a Christian busy for awhile! And these 50 will transform your life!