The Unsearchable Heart of Kings
1. As we noted last week, chapter 25 begins a new section in the book of Proverbs, as its first verse states. (chapters 25-29)
2. These chapters are the writings of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah copied out.
3. Verse three speaks of the unsearchable nature of the heart of a king. It is also to be connected in thought with verse two.
The Heart of Kings
1. Heart defined:
a. This is a very common term in the Old Testament, used 508 times.
b. It is used 95 times in Proverbs.
c. It means: The inner man; mind; will; heart; understanding; the inner self-life.
2. In our present proverb, the term is used of the inner life of a king.
a. It speaks of his inner thoughts, feelings, understanding, etc.
b. It speaks of the whole inner life of a king—an inner life that is hidden from physical vision.
c. Solomon is referring here to what makes the man tick; what is going on inside his mind and heart that no one can see or know.
3. The heart of kings is unsearchable.
a. Unsearchable defined: Unable to be searched; investigated; examined; comprehended; understood.
b. The term is used of God:
• His greatness is unsearchable (Ps. 145:3)
• His understanding is unsearchable (Isa. 40:28)
• His works are past finding out (Job 9:10)
c. In our proverb, Solomon states that the inner life of an earthly king is also unsearchable.
d. Cf. I Cor. 2:11 – who knows the “things” of a man (those deep inward things) except the spirit of the man himself?
• In this context, Paul’s point is that nobody really knows what is going on inside another person.
• Therefore, how much LESS do we know about the inner thoughts of God unless He reveals them to us?
e. The inner thought life, motives, goals, purposes, and feelings of an earthly king cannot be known by anyone else.
f. Nobody knows what the king is really going through.
g. We know what the king says and what the king does, but we do NOT always know WHY.
h. We don’t know all the inner machinations that led him to make the decision that he made.
i. We don’t always know the philosophical or ideological worldview that led him to make that decision.
4. Just HOW unsearchable is the heart of a king?
a. “The heaven for height; the earth for depth.”
b. In other words, if you can measure the heavens, then you might be able to understand what’s going on inside the mind and heart of a king. If you cannot measure the heavens, then you are unable to know the heart of the king.
c. If you can measure the depth of the earth, you can measure a king’s heart.
d. I suppose that scientists might be able to come up with some sort of instrument to measure the depth of the earth today, but that is not Solomon’s point.
e. Solomon gave two examples of things which in his day were unable to be measured, and made a connection to the unsearchable nature of the king’s heart.
f. This was a figure of speech and was not intended to be an exact scientific equivalence.
g. Jer. 31:37 – Jeremiah used the same figure of speech to mean the same thing: something unfathomable; incomprehensible.
h. Solomon’s point in using this figure of speech is that no one on earth really knows the heart of a king.
5. This point connects verse three with verse two.
a. Verse two: God (the king of the universe) conceals things.
• God is the Sovereign Lord of the universe.
• God’s understanding is infinite. We actually know very little of what is going on inside God’s mind and heart.
• We know what He has revealed, but since His understanding is infinite, we have a tiny portion of that.
• He is working all things for good, according to His eternal purpose.
• We don’t see or understand these works of the Lord.
• They are all hidden from us.
• They are part of God’s mind and heart, but are hidden from us.
• And since we cannot know the hidden things in a man’s heart, we certainly cannot know the hidden things in the Lord’s mind and heart.
• The secret things belong to the Lord.
b. Verse three: earthly kings also conceal things.
• This has always been the case, and it is the case today too.
• Whether we like it or not, nobody is privy to the king’s heart.
• None of us really knows what goes on behind closed doors.
• There are many rumors and innuendoes of intrigue around a royal court. There is a lot of spinning and mudslinging around our presidents—from both sides of the aisle.
• But in spite of what men THINK they know, nobody knows the heart of the king.
c. This is true of our president—and of EVERY president this country has ever had.
• We don’t know what really goes on in his war room.
• We don’t know what goes on in secret meetings he has with leaders from other countries.
• We don’t know what kind of business deals he is seeking and pushing around the globe.
• We don’t know everything that is on his agenda.
• We know nothing about the secret security briefings that he receives every morning from the CIA and his generals.
d. Thus, the earthly king is similar to God in this sense.
• Much of what God knows, He keeps secret from us…. and for our good. The secret things belong to the Lord.
• Much of what our earthly king knows, he also keeps secret from us. This is also for our good.
• As certain secret things belong to the Lord, so also, certain secrets belong to the king and his court—or to the president and his cabinet.
e. This has always been the case, and it certainly is so today.
• Aren’t you glad that the whole nation is not aware of ALL of our state secrets? They would be published on a wiki sight to the ruin of the country.
• Aren’t you glad that a CNN reporter is not present every morning to hear when the president is briefed about every potential threat from ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, North Korea, Hugo Chavez, the Mexican drug cartel, and every radical Islamic cell group in America?
• If the public knew all that, there would be panic!
• If the public knew of what went on in all the global business and trading, and just how fragile the economy REALLY is, we would probably take our $35.00 in savings out of the bank and hide it under our pillow.
• It’s a GOOD thing that we don’t know the heart of the king. It’s a good thing that we are not privy to all the information he receives every day.
• Have you noticed how rapidly our presidents seem to age in four years on the job?
f. Note another connection with verse two: God the heavenly King conceals things, but earthly kings search things out.
• It is the HONOR of an earthly king to “search out” matters.
• An earthly king needs to be informed. He needs to seek out the very best information that he can.
• An earthly king needs to search out the very best intelligence he can get.
• It is the honor of a king to search out the best information he can get; it is also the king’s honor to keep some of it secret.
• Wise kings seek out matters and wise kings also keep some of what they discover secret.
• Again, the point of this proverb is to make a connection between God the heavenly King and earthly kings.
• There is something mysterious about those in such high positions—and in a sense, it is a good thing that there is such mystery.
• Men don’t know all of what’s going on inside the heart of the king and they don’t NEED to know it all.
6. Certainly we can learn from Solomon’s words to be careful about “speaking evil of dignitaries.”
a. I Pet. 2:17 – We are commanded to honor the king—or president.
b. So, before we judge kings, presidents, and governors, we should keep this proverb in mind.
c. We don’t really know the heart of the king or president.
d. We are not privy to all the information that he has.
e. We aren’t aware of all the political, financial, security, and social ramifications of the decisions he makes.
f. This proverb should cause us to be more careful in judging our political leaders.
g. It is good to be aware of what’s going on in the country; it’s good to be as informed as we can be, but before we judge, remember that we cannot know the king’s heart.
h. I Tim. 2:1-3 – Rather than constantly criticizing those in positions of authority over us, we should spend a little more time praying for them.