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Jeremiah 17:9-10 - Homiletics

The evil heart searched and judged.


1. The most important question concerning a man is as to the state of his heart— his thoughts, affections, intentions. In the heart we find the true man. The outer life is but the clothing and may be the mask of the man. From the heart spring all the actions of life. The character of the fountain determines that of the stream ( Matthew 15:18 , Matthew 15:19 ).

2. The root of the evil of the heart is self-will . It is rugged above all things, proud, not compliant with God's will, wrapped up in self.

3. The character of the evil of the heart is desperate sickness .

4. The evil of the heart is inscrutable to man. "Who can know it?" This is the case,

II. THE DIVINE SEARCH AND JUDGMENT . The heart is difficult to understand, but God thoroughly searches it. " Who can know it?" "I the Lord."

1. God searches and tries ,

2. God knows the heart. The search is effectual. The trial is fruitful. God knows us, while the world is deceived. How foolish, then, to play the hypocrite! For it matters little what men think of us, but God's thoughts concerning us are of infinite moment. God will judge justly and reasonably, for he knows all.

3. God will administer judgment according to the character of men's actions revealed by his searching and trying. God's knowledge is followed by his action. He is not simply a great contemplative Being. He has an arm to make bare for action as well as eyes to see the evil and the good. Judgment will be for our actions, but according as these are read in the light of the state of our heart. God searches and gives to men according to their ways. This judgment is universal—"to every man ," discriminating—to each "according to his ways," and natural—"according to the fruit of his doings, according to their natural products, each in its own kind, so that men shall reap what they sow as by a law of nature.

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