Proverbs 11:20

Proverbs 11:20 "They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight."
Proverbs 11:20 Baptist Church Buffalo NY
Faces are fascinating.  They are the monitors of the human hard drive, also known as the heart.  Most of the time, you can discern the state of the soul by the form of the face.  If a person is happy, their face will reflect that state by curves in their mouth and by widely opened eyes.  If a person is angry, their face will reflect that state by the narrowing of the eyes and the straightening of the mouth.  When a face moves, it is a revealing of feeling.  Rarely does someone look unhappy who isn’t unhappy.  Rarely does someone look thrilled who isn’t thrilled.  Watch a fan at any sporting event and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how they feel just by what their face looks like.  Look out in the congregation during a church service and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how people feel just by what their faces looks like.  For this revealing reason, faces are fascinating.  
 
Have you ever tried to move someone’s face without touching it?  By move someone’s face, I mean move their eyes and mouth.  Perhaps it would make more sense to rephrase the question, have you ever tried to change someone’s countenance?  It can be fun, especially if the person is in a sour mood.  It’s especially fun if it’s a crabby child.  Telling jokes, making funny faces and goofy sounds can change a child’s countenance.  Yelling, criticizing or mocking can also change a child’s countenance.  Some things however, like explaining genealogies, engineering or college level mathematics won’t move a child’s face.

I suspect that many people have the idea that God’s face never moves.  I suspect that many people have a hard time imagining God with a smile or with a frown.  Because He is God, we have this natural mindset that sees changes in facial form as a flaw or some weakness.  To the human mind, it is hard to imagine a flawless Being with emotion, especially negative emotion such as anger, disappointment or disgust.  Largely due to the introduction of computers and science fiction into society, we’ve begun to imagine God as a super processor in supreme control of Himself and society.  God is easily seen as an unstoppable and unchangeable cyborg lacking in emotion and certainly above smiles and frowns.  Fortunately for us, the Bible paints an accurate picture of God for our minds to imagine.  The Bible describes God as a God given to laughter and shouting as well as a God Whose face can be moved.  The Bible describes a God Whose face can shine upon the souls of men or it can be turned against the souls of men.  Scripture paints the picture of a God Whose flawless face reveals His flawless feelings, which shouldn’t surprise us since we were created in the image of God.

There are things in our world that move God’s face.  There are things in each of us that moves God’s face.  Despite our miniscule size and influence in a massive universe, we have the ability to move the face of God Almighty.  We have the ability to move the corners of His magnificent mouth.  We possess the ability to move His glorious countenance and the appearance of His fiery eyes.  This proverb tells us what moves the face of God.  Getting an A in calculus doesn’t move the face of God.  Scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl doesn’t move the face of God.  Landing a job worth six figures doesn’t move the face of God.  A new hair style or a new dress don’t move the face of God.  Big biceps and ripped abs don’t move the face of God.  God doesn’t smile at the things that we smile at because the things that make God happy aren’t necessarily the things that make us happy.  God doesn’t frown at the things that we frown at because the things that God frowns at aren’t necessarily the things that we frown at.

In this simple proverb, Solomon informs his readers that God has strong feelings and on both ends of the emotional spectrum.  Those that have a FROWARD heart move the face of God against them.  Those that have a crooked heart straighten the mouth and narrow the eyes of Almighty God.  On the contrary, those that are UPRIGHT in heart move the face of God for them.  Those that have integrity curve the mouth and widely open the eyes of Almighty God.  One type of person disgusts God and another type of person delights God.  One type of person is intolerable to God while another type of person is invaluable to God.  

While it might be obvious and basic theology that God loathes the crooked heart and loves the upright soul, don’t overlook what this proverb profoundly infers – there are things that move the face of God and then there are things that do not move the face of God.  Owning a big home isn’t an abomination to God but neither is it a delight to God.  Maintaining a perfectly sculpted body through diet and exercise isn’t an abomination to God but neither is it a delight to God.  Amassing a stockpile of cash in your bank account, retirement accounts or under your mattress isn’t an abomination to God but neither is it a delight to God.  Many of the things that man delights in are not the things that God delights in.  Many of the things we hate are not the things that God hates.  Much of what we think is success isn’t success in God’s eyes and much of what we think is failure isn’t failure in God’s eyes.  Most of what we do in life does not move the face of God.  Eating, sleeping, recreating, working, saving, spending, talking, walking, building, cooking, studying, reading, cleaning, celebrating, running, etc. all are relatively uninteresting to God.  What makes our everyday lives interesting to God and what moves His face is the virtue in which we do these everyday tasks.  If we cut corners and cheat the government or our employer in our working, that moves the face of God.  If we eat, sleep, work and walk for the glory of God with integrity, that moves the face of God.
 
God doesn’t care about an athletic event like we do but He does care whether the athletes, owners and fans participate uprightly or frowardly.   God doesn’t care about making products like we do but He does care whether the fabricators, sellers, buyers and users of those products do so uprightly or frowardly.  God doesn’t care about college degrees like we do but He does care how the graduate went about achieving that degree, whether uprightly or frowardly.  This proverb teaches us what is dear to God and what isn’t.  This proverb informs us that God doesn’t get nearly as moved by achievement and accomplishment as He does by good and evil.
 
Knowing what moves the face of God and knowing that we were created for the pleasure of God (Rev. 4:11), spend your life dedicated to putting a smile on the face of God.  If any of us are going to put a smile on the face of God, it can only be done through virtue.  Only those that are upright in their way delight God.  Job was described as being upright and it was his uprightness that delighted God, not his corporate or financial accomplishment.  We tend to delight in things that God has very little feelings towards.  We ought to delight in those things that God has very strong feelings towards.

The eyes of the LORD are upon the RIGHTEOUS, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that DO EVIL, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.”  Psalm 34:15-16

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