Proverbs 22:11

Pureness of Heart

11a He that loveth pureness of heart…

1. Pure:

a. In a physical sense: Pure, i.e., pertaining to the feature of an object virtually not having foreign particles or impurities.

b. In a ceremonial sense: Clean, pure, i.e., pertaining to being ceremonially or ritually clean (Lev. 11:36).

c. In a moral or spiritual sense: Without impurity or defect of any kind and so free from moral impurity (Ps. 12:7).

d. Solomon is using the term in a moral and spiritual sense in this passage. Of course for a Jew living under the Law, it was necessary to be BOTH ceremonially and spiritually pure.

2. Pureness of heart:

a. Heart: This is a term describing the inner man. It includes the following:
• Inner man; mind; will; heart; understanding.
• Mind; knowledge; thinking; reflection; moral character.
• Emotions and passions
• The source of life of the inner person in various aspects, with a focus on feelings, thoughts, volition, and other areas of the inner life.

b. A pure heart is a general term extending to purity in the innermost part of our being:
• A pure mind; heart; will; pure thoughts
• Pure emotions and passions
• Pure motives and intentions
• In other words, an inner purity that saturates our whole inner life… into every area of our intellect, emotions, and volition.

3. He that loveth pureness of heart

a. Loveth: To love; to have affection for; to have an attraction to—often based on desirability.

b. This term is used of our love for God and sometimes of God’s love for His people.

c. Solomon is describing a type of person: one who loves purity of heart… inward purity…

d. What a wonderful quality is this: A love and affection for inward purity… an inner desire for the mind, heart, will, choices, emotions, passions, motives, intentions of the heart, and choices to be clean and pure through and through.

e. When considering church leaders – we should look for one who loves purity in the heart. In a sense, it is this quality that the New Testament uses as the qualifications for leaders in the church. Virtually all of the qualifications are linked in one way or another to inward purity (inward, spiritual qualities).

f. When considering a spouse – you should seek someone who loves inward purity.

g. When choosing friends – seek those who love purity of heart.

h. When hiring employees – they may not be saved, but seek those who are men and women with a purity and an integrity of heart.

i. When training children – teach them about purity of heart – keeping the mind, the imagination, the thought life, motives, and the inner emotions PURE… clean before God, for after all, He knows. He is watching… and listening. He knows even our innermost thoughts and the secrets of the heart.

11b For the grace of his lips…

1. Grace: Favour; grace; charm; kindness.

2. Lips: This term literally speaks of the lips of our mouths, but it is used in a figurative sense of speech – that which flows out of our lips.

3. The grace of his lips speaks of lips characterized by grace… kindness… charm… pleasantness, etc.

4. Note that the word “for” is italicized.

a. It was added by the translators, but is not found in the original language.

b. SOMETHING does need to be added.

c. In some way, Solomon meant to transition from the thought of loving a pure heart to gracious lips.

d. There is clearly a connection between a pure heart and gracious lips.

e. The Lord Jesus said that “those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart.” (Matt. 15:18)
• It is true of EVIL (evil thoughts, false witnesses, and blasphemies.)
• It is also true of GOOD. What flows from our mouths was germinated in our inner man: our heart, mind, thoughts, feelings, imagination, etc.
• Matt.12:34 – “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things.”
• The heart (the inner man) is the SOURCE of the words that flow off our lips.
• The CONDITION of the heart has a direct effect on the KIND of words that flow off our lips.
• If we have hatred in our hearts, then words of hatred will flow off our lips.
• If we have murmuring and complaining in our hearts, then it will flow off our lips.
• If we have grace in our heart… and purity… then that too will flow from our lips.
• If purity is in the heart, then grace will flow off our lips.

f. That seems to be the connection between these two expressions in the proverb.
• The one who loves pureness of heart will demonstrate that by means of the grace of his lips.
• That which is on the inside eventually manifests itself on the outside.
• We all slip up now and then, but generally—overall—the one who loves pureness of heart can be discerned by his lips.
• Eph. 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
» If the heart is right, the lips will minister grace to the hearers.
» Eph. 4:22-24 – Paul states that the believer today is to use his lips to minister grace BECAUSE he has been taught that he has already put off the old man and has put on the new man… who is created in righteousness and true holiness.
» Because we have a NEW inner source (a new, regenerated heart) therefore we are expected to speak gracious words.
• Col. 4:6 – “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
» This too is the result of a heart full of grace and purity.
» It is here commanded of the believer.

11c The king shall be his friend.

1. Now Solomon makes a final statement concerning the man who loves inward purity and who speaks gracious words.

a. The King shall be is friend.

b. It was quite a wonderful thing to be a friend of the king in the days of the monarchy.

c. Kings had almost unlimited power. What they said was the law of the land.

d. If you displeased the king, he could have you executed.

e. If you had the king’s favor, there was an unlimited source of blessing attached: financial, power, justice, etc.

f. It was far more valuable to have the king’s favor in days of a monarchy than it is to have the president’s favor today, because the president is limited in his power. His word is not law. (thankfully)

g. But having the king’s favor—that could instantly exalt you to high places!

h. Thus, it was to a man’s great advantage to love inward purity and to speak gracious words… because it brought him into friendship with the king.

2. Kings really DID seek to have friends who were pure and who spoke gracious words.

a. Solomon was a king. He knew firsthand how valuable it was for a king to surround himself with honest men… with pure hearts… no ulterior motives lurking behind every move…

b. When a person has great wealth, he will discover that people will want to be around him… for the wrong reasons… to GET… to take advantage of his wealth… and perhaps make it theirs.

c. And when a man has great power there will also be men of questionable character surrounding him… like flies hovering over meat.

d. A king was BOTH: A man of great wealth AND a man of great power. He would find himself continually surrounded by men who sought to take advantage of him.

e. A king also was surrounded by plots for his life (thus the food and drink tasters like Nehemiah).

f. Others would seek to overthrow his power with a military uprising.

g. Thus, kings often became paranoid… and discovered the hard way that they could trust hardly anyone.

3. Thus, for a king to find a person who was genuine… honest… pure and clean in his motives… and gracious and truthful in his words… was to find a precious GEM!

a. Proverbs 16:13 – This is true of kings in general. They loved a man they could trust – a man who spoke truthfully and righteously. Such a man would be a true friend for the king.

b. Ps. 101:6 – David the King (Solomon’s father) wanted men of pure hearts serving with him in his royal court. It is likely that David mentioned this to his son Solomon often. He also wrote: “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.”

c. Matt. 5:8 – In the Kingdom, Christ the King will be the friend of those with a pure heart.

d. Gen. 41:39-42 – Pharaoh found such a man in Joseph. Joseph proved himself to be a man of integrity… of a pure heart… and gracious words. He became the king’s friend and later found himself promoted to Prime Minister of Egypt!

e. Esther 10:3 – Mordecai proved himself to be such a man to king Ahasuerus.

f. Dan. 2:46-49 – Daniel proved himself to be such a man to King Nebuchadnezzar.

4. Wouldn’t it be great if in this country our president was surrounded by men who had pure, clean, honest, sincere hearts and who spoke nothing but that which was true and gracious?

a. Usually the case is that each man on the cabinet has his own personal self interest at heart… ambition…

b. They don’t always speak the truth… they are not always men of conviction… they don’t always have pure motives in their hearts… and often they are all jockeying for position to be the next president.

c. It’s a wonder anything gets done.

d. But how precious and valuable it is for a president or a king to have an advisor who is clean and pure… and will speak the truth!

e. We may not be kings, but we should be able to appreciate friends who are pure of heart… and whose lips are gracious but truthful. We should treasure such people.

5. But the main thrust of the proverb is this: WE should love purity of heart and gracious speech. When that characterizes OUR lives, it will be to our great advantage! We may become the friend of the king… or some other important person.

a. The point is that purity of heart and lip will bring us into favor with God AND with men… it is to our advantage!

b. Of course, self interest is the wrong motive in loving purity. In fact, that is “impurity!”

c. But there is an advantage to having a pure heart and lips. This advantage should not be our motive, but it is a fringe benefit. There is an earthly benefit to having a pure heart and gracious words.

d. I Tim.4:8 – “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8For bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”