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Everything Is Openly Exposed to the One Who Examines Us
Proverbs 5:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of Jehovah,
and he examines all his paths.
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of Jehovah: Here ways: (דֶּרֶךְ derek) is a course of conduct, what is done, the manner in which you conduct yourself on this journey filled with life-choices that you make in this imperfect age of Satan’s world. The father is giving the son the way to go by way of wisdom. Proverbs 4:11 tells us that the father has taught the son the way (דֶּרֶךְ derek) of wisdom; the father has led the son in the paths of uprightness. The apostle Peter tells us “the eyes (ὀφθαλμός ophthalmos) of the Lord [the Father] are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Pet 3:12) The Father emphasizes this love, this care, and sensitiveness for all of his servant’s welfare. The Psalmist writes, “The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” (Psalm 34:15) How reassuring and heartening it is to know that the Father understands our circumstances and takes notice of our heartfelt supplications!
And he examines all his paths: Here to examine (פָּלַס palas) means that the Father is giving careful thought and consideration, thinking about, pondering, observing our paths. Paths (מַעְגָּל magal or מַעְגָּלָה magalah) is figuratively referring to the ways (line one) that we conduct ourselves in life as in a well-worn path. This is either conforming to the moral standard of God as we focus on the proper spiritual course of life by observing the indicators (Scriptures) on the path, which leads to life, of which there are few who on it; or, we can follow the paths (ways in line one), which is spacious and leads to destruction, of which there are many who are on it. The Father is aware of our actions even in the darkness. Yes, everything is openly exposed to the One who examines all of our paths (ways), for which we will have an accounting one day. Therefore, whether our actions are good or bad, they all are examined by God.
We began Proverbs, chapter 5, by looking at the consequences of immoral behavior. The reality is that our actions, even our desires that are not immediately dismissed, are “before the eyes of Jehovah.” Regardless of how well we might believe that we are hiding inappropriate sexual desires, or worse still acting on those sexually inappropriate desires, it will ruin our relationship with God, as he sees all things. Is some brief immediate gratification worth losing the most precious relationship we can have, with God? Moreover, nothing stays hidden forever, and the wife will eventually discover this dirty secret sinful life.
Those who live in sin think they are alone and no one can see, as Job 24:15 puts it, “The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me’; and he veils his face.” But in their heart, deep down inside, they know that nothing is hidden from God. Not only does God see everything that we do but he knows everything we think, things we entertain and cultivate. Moreover, with his foreknowledge, he knows everything we will do. Thus, the sinner knows that one day, he will be held accountable for his actions. We must keep in mind that “God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Yes, we need to ‘ponder the path of our feet; then all our ways will be sure.’ – Proverbs 4:26.