Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
Your heart and mind seldom rest. You always have thoughts. What do you think about? Are you planning something good for God or men, or are you planning sin for yourself?
It is wrong – a horrible use of heart and mind – to plan evil. But God will give mercy and truth to those that plan good. Devising sin brings the hatred of men (Pr 14:17; 24:8) and judgment of God (Pr 24:9; Gen 6:5-7). Limit your heart and mind to devise good things.
The LORD is against evil doers and punishes them, and He rewards those who do good (Pr 12:2; Ezek 18:4; I Pet 3:10-12). There will be recompense to both – the sinner shall be judged, and the righteous shall be rewarded (Pr 11:31; 13:21; 26:10; 28:10; Ps 37:9).
Planning evil is sin. God sees your desire as equal to the act, lacking only opportunity. Solomon wrote, “The thought of foolishness is sin” (Pr 24:9). Jesus condemned seeing and desiring another woman as adultery (Matt 5:28). Do not forget this sober lesson. Fantasies of sin are wrong; evil thoughts are wrong; devising sinful activities is wrong.
The Lord sees all the thoughts of every heart and rewards men accordingly (Jer 17:10; Heb 4:12-13). Because you have not committed the sin does not protect you – planning it in your heart is just as bad before God. He will judge you; it is a foolish error to think you can devise wickedness and avoid judgment by not going through with the actual event.
Lot planned success in Sodom, but it killed his wife and three daughters and reduced his other two daughters to incest. David thought he could have sex with Bathsheba and no one would be hurt, but it cost many lives and his own son. Amnon devised sex with his sister, but the act did not match his fantasies, and it cost him his life (II Sam 13:1-29).
Absalom conspired to steal the kingdom, but he ended up with darts in his heart (II Sam 18:14). Haman devised the annihilation of the Jews due to great hatred for Mordecai, but he and his sons died on his own gallows (Esth 7:10). More than forty Jews were very thirsty and hungry, for vowing not to eat or drink until they killed Paul (Acts 23:12).
The scribes and Pharisees left in shame after bringing an adulteress to Jesus to trap Him (John 8:1-11). Ananias and Sapphira devised to give a big gift to the church and keep some for themselves, but both died in the attempt. And the effeminate preachers of these perilous times shall have their corrupt devices exposed as vain babblings (II Tim 3:6-9).
Abraham devised good by sending his servant to find a godly wife for Isaac, who found Rebekah easily by God’s blessing of mercy and truth upon Abraham (Gen 24:27). David devised good in desiring to build God a house; and though Solomon built it, the Lord gave great promises of mercy and truth to David and his family (II Sam 7:1-19; 23:1-5).
Mercy and truth are great blessings individually, but especially when met together. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps 85:10). When combined in a phrase, these two kind gifts of God indicate overall blessing.
These promised blessings are for those who devise good – who plan, arrange, and design good in their lives and by their lives. God’s promise is substantial. Set your heart and plans toward good – godly things for His kingdom – and you will receive the reward. What could you devise today that would be to God’s glory and/or the profit of others?
Are you liberal? in the Bible sense? It means to be bighearted, generous, munificent, and openhanded. By devising liberal things for God and His people, He will bless you in this world and in the world to come (Is 32:8; Pr 11:24; I Tim 6:17-19). He dared you to test Him, so plan and do some generous things and see His blessing (Mal 3:10; Luke 6:38).
Reader, how do you receive the preaching of God’s word? Do you devise in your heart that you will keep sinning and hide your sin? Postpone repentance and conversion? Harden yourself against the reproofs of the minister and Spirit? You will not escape. You err fatally, and you will be judged severely, as one to whom much was given.
Christian reader, if you devise in your heart to accept the correction and reproof of preaching, intending to implement it immediately and completely, do it, today. God will bless you with mercy and truth and the grace of Christ in your life (James 1:25). Choose this day to rule your thinking, planning, and devising only toward good and godly things.