Proverbs 14:14, The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
The Hebrew of this word backslider means the same as our english word "flinch".
We know what it means when we say, He flinched!
Flinch means to shrink. Flinch means to withdraw from suffering, from pain or danger.
Flinch means to fail in going on, or of performing anything.
It means to go back, to retreat, to apos-ta-tize.
Webster's 1828 dictionary defines backslider as an apostate, one who falls from the faith and practice of religion.
He is one who neglects his vows of obedience and falls into sin.
The Hebrew word where backslider comes from is cuwg, pronounced soog.
It is used 18 times in 15 verses and in most cases it is translated into the English word 'turned.'
Sometimes it is translated 'remove' and other times it is translated 'go back' or 'gone back.'
The word backsliding appears 13 times in the Bible and it is always from Hebrew words that mean to turn back, heathenish, or apostate.
Backslider and backsliding are Old Testament words, not appearing in the New Testament.
It does not appear to me that it is a proper word to apply to a Christian because it pertains strongly to apostates and a truly saved man will not be apostate.
Therefore to say that someone is a backslidden Christian is putting two ideas that oppose each other. It is an oxymoron.
This proverb tells us something about a backslider in heart.
This is a genuine backslider. This is what God sees when he looks at his heart.
His backsliding comes from the will, the center of his being.
Whatever he appears on the outside, he is a backslider on the inside. He has chosen this course.
He may put on a good show at being a follower of God but in the heart he is a backslider, he is apostate.
He may look like he is moving forward for God but in his heart he is sliding backward.
He may be looked up to as a pillar of the church but in his heart he is a backslider.
As Hosea said about Ephraim, He is a cake not turned.
And he will never be turned, he is apostate.
God gives us wisdom to know a backslider in heart.
What is a characteristic of a backslider in heart?
We are told that he shall be filled with his own ways.
Not the way that God sets before his servants.
He is not a servant according to God's commandments for servants.
He sets out to establish his own ways of servant hood.
His ways. Ways that satisfy himself.
Ways that enhance himself. Self centered ways. He is filled with his ways.
Ways, that in his reasoning, should satisfy and please God.
Good ways, practical ways, ways like the ways of Balaam, ways of Cain, the son of Adam, fruit of the ground ways that result from his own works.
He reasons that God will certainly be satisfied with all of the clever ways he has devised to make himself happy and to serve God at the same time.
Ways to help him esteem himself more highly in his own eyes.
Certainly God cannot despise his ways.
He is filled with them. He has a multitude of them.
There is no room in him for Jesus Christ who is God's way.
Christ is excluded because the backslider is filled with his own ways.
So we are told in this proverb that not doing God's business in God's way in a mark of the backslider.
The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
The last part of this proverb says: "and a good man shall be satisfied from himself".
Who is this good man? What is a good man?
In Psalm 112:5 we are told that, A good man showeth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.
And Proverbs 12:2 says, A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD:
(A good man has connection with the Lord.)
And Matthew 12:35, A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:
(A good man has good treasure in his heart put there by God)
And Acts 11:24, For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
(A good man is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, he is a saved man)
And finally in Psalm 37:23 we are told that, The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
(A good man follows the will of the Lord in his walk)
So a good man is good because he has a good God.
God is good and if a man may be called good it is because he belongs to God.
But in himself, that is in his flesh, Paul tells us, dwelleth no good thing.
So what is it that causes a good man to be satisfied from himself?
Whatever it is, it has been put there by God.
Whatever satisfaction he has springs from God.
He is satisfied to glory in the Lord for whatever it is he has in himself.
He examines himself whether he be in the faith and is satisfied with what Jesus Christ has done for him.
He rests in God and looks for no other helper.
He is content with the working of God in his life.
He is confident of this very thing that he which has begun a good work in him shall continue to perform it all of his life and until the day of Jesus Christ.
He knows that his good works will not earn him standing before God but he knows that through Christ they will be accepted of God and graciously rewarded.
His satisfaction comes from scripture like Isaiah 3:10, Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
A backslider never has the satisfaction of the good man because the good man out of the good treasure of the heart is able to bring forth good things, good things that satisfy himself.