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Proverbs 27:19, As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.
Have you ever received an answer from your face?
You say, "I've never asked a question of my face?"
What answer can you get from your face?
The people of ages past looked into water and their face received an answer.
The people of today look into mirrors.
Why did the queen in Snow White ask Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of us all?
Even animals have questions about themselves.
This week for four days a cardinal spent a good part of each day looking at himself in the side mirrors of my van while we were camping in Grayton Beach.
He would perch on the mirror and then fly to the window sill and then fly into the mirror and then perch and continue to do this for four days while we were there.
This persistent cardinal seemed as sent from the Lord since I had chosen this proverb to speak on well before we went camping.
Ladies, why do you have a mirror somewhere in your purse?
Don't we look because we have questions?
Aren't you asking the question, How do I look?
Is my hair arranged just right? How do I appear?
Is my face clean? Are there any blemishes or spots on my face?
The young person asks, How am I going to deal with that big pimple on my nose?
Everybody will be looking at it! My life is ruined!
What can I do about those deep lines that I am getting around my eyes?
What about these wrinkles that are developing.
How can I get this makeup to look like I have on no makeup?
The face in the mirror answers the questions or at least reveals to the looking face that there is a problem that must be dealt with.
Face answereth to face!
We know that for most of history people did not have mirrors of the fine quality that we enjoy today.
In colonial times and before, people relied on polished metal mirrors which greatly distorted reality.
And most civilizations simply relied upon the reflection that was found by looking into still water.
Water is nature's looking glass.
What do we see when we see our reflection in the water or in a mirror?
We see an image of ourselves, we see an image of our face.
We never in our lifetime truly see our own face.
All we ever see is simply an image of our face.
But there is enough of an image to make decisions about.
The image is clear enough to learn something about the real face.
But in order to know anything about the face,
in order to be able to make decisions about the face,
in order to get answers to questions about the face,
you must look at a reflection of your face,
you must face your face as it really is
and not as what you think it is.
You may think your face to be perfect, clear, clean, unblemished,
unwrinkled, but until you face your face:
in a mirror or in water
or in polished metal or
in some device which will show you an image of your face
you will not know what the reality of your face is
and no correction can take place.
So the Lord in this proverb points us to a daily happening in our lives in order for us to learn something about the heart.
The wise man says that if the face has a question about itself it must look in water and see its reflection.
The reflection of the face will answer the questions.
So too if a man has questions about himself he must look in the heart to receive an answer.
This is where the answers are to questions about the man.
The answers are not outside himself.
The answers are not available from his neighbor or his doctor or his wife or her husband.
The answers are in his heart. This is where the action is.
Who am I? What am I really like?
Why do I do things the way I do? Why do I think the way I do?
Why do I like certain things and dislike other things.
Why do I fail in living a righteous life?
How do I stand before God? Am I right with him?
Proverbs 4:23 says, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Keep means to do housecleaning in your heart.
It means to see to it that the cobwebs are cleaned out and the corners are swept.
It means to keep it tidy and ready as God's dwelling.
The Bible tells us much about the heart of man. The heart is the seat of intelligence,
Proverbs 23:7, tells us that the heart is connected with thinking, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
To ponder something in one's heart means to consider it carefully.
To call to heart something means to remember.
Conscious decisions are made in the heart. Man expresses lusts through the heart.
Emotions such as joy and sorrow originate in the heart.
Discouragement or despair is described by the phrase "heaviness in the heart"
The heart is also the seat of the affection of love and its opposite, hate. Likewise jealousy comes from the heart.
The believer is commanded to love God "with all your heart"
The word heart often expresses the concept of conscience.
Jesus said that out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, and slander.
Defilement comes from within the heart rather than from without.
The heart is the field where the seed of the Word of God is sown.
The heart is the place of renewal.
Paul said that a person must believe in the heart to be saved.
And the heart is the dwelling place of the Spirit of God.
It is second nature to look into a mirror if we desire to find answers about our face. Is it clean, is it dirty?
This proverb tells us that looking into our heart should be just as normal and routine if we desire to find answers about ourselves; if we desire to have clean hearts without blemish.
In this effort the word of God is our strength, for without it we are incapable of knowing our heart.
As Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is....a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And Psalm 139:23, Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And Jeremiah 17:10, I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
This searching of the heart through the word of God is the work of God in our heart and will result in presenting to God his own peculiar people.
As Paul said in Ephesians 5:27, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
We are to Examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith, we are to prove ourselves, we are to be diligent that we may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article in "The Projector" for Proverbs 27:19, mirror of the heart