Earlier this week at daily Mass, we read from the Book of Proverbs and among the Proverbs we read was this one:
All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the Lord who measures hearts. (Proverbs 21:2).
And in this Proverb we see an important reminder for our times. For an increasing attitude of our times it says, in effect, “I will do what I want to do, and I will decide whether it is right or wrong.” In other words, “No one is going to tell me what to do, I answer to no one.”
To be sure this is always been problematic attitude in the human family. Indeed, it can be argued that it was at the heart of the temptation that Adam and Eve gave way to in the garden. For the serpent said, “Did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1) And again, “You will be like gods!” (Genesis 3:5)
And thus we see the origin and heart of our human rebellion against God and against his law. But whatever temporary illusion we choose to entertain, as the proverb reminds us, we are going to have to answer to the Lord. He will weigh, he will measure our hearts, we will answer to him. No one is a judge in his own case.
Scripture says elsewhere
So then, each of us will have to give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)
Jesus said they tell you that men will have to give an account of the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. (Matthew 12:36)
But they [the wicked and scoffers] will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5)
For there is nothing hidden that we’ll not be disclosed, and nothing concealed it will not be known for brought out into the open. (Luke 8:17)
Yes we are going to answer to God, and he will disclose our hearts.
These are essential teachings for us, especially in these times, when our sense of arrogance grows, and there are many who think they can live without consequences and will never have to answer for what they do.
It is one thing to sin through weakness, and with repentant hearts, we can confidently seek God’s mercy. But it is another thing to go on arrogantly refusing to recognize God’s law for the truth that It is and two assert that I am answerable to no one.
Again Scripture says
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the Blood of the Covenant that sanctifies him, and has insulted the spirit of grace? For we know Him who said it is mine to avenge, I will repay, and again, the Lord will judge his people. It is an awesome thing to fall into the hands of a living God. (Heb 10:28ff).
Yes it is a very dangerous thing to go on calling good, or no big deal what God calls sinful. Many do this today, and not only do they go on sinning themselves, but they approve and promote these behaviors in others.
The Church is right to prophetically summon us all to repentance. For the day approaches for us all when the door closes, and our decisions are forever fixed. How awful that any of us should die in our arrogance and remain forever rebellious.
How sad it is that there are so many who, though the voice of God echoes in their heart, though his laws are evidenced in what he is made in the created order, and though the prophetic voice of the Church sounds in their ears, still they stubbornly refuse to hear any of these voices. They suppress the truth about God for a lie.
And while many assert that they will answer to no one, the truth is we will all answer to God. Yes, we will render an account for what we have done.
All the ways of a man maybe right in his own eyes, but it is the Lord who weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2