The Lord Tests the Hearts

Hudson Taylor founder of China Inland Mission) used to hang in his home a plaque with two Hebrew Words on it: EBENEZER & JEHOVAH JIREH. The first word means ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us’ and the second, ‘The Lord will see to it or provide.’ One looked back wh … More


It is far better to have a peaceful and quiet meal of dry bread than having a lot to eat in a house where there is strife (v. 1). Harmony of a person’s relationship with others is to be desired over a bountiful supply of food. Think of the children today who grow up in a home where there is continual strife and contention. Is it any wonder that many small children have ulcers and all kinds of emotional problems. There is no substitute for peace and tranquility in the home.

A faithful servant is better than a rebellious son. In fact he may take the place of an unworthy son and receive his part of the inheritance (v. 2). Because of faithfulness a man may rise from servitude to the status of sonship. At the same time, no hired servant can ever give the joy to the heart of a father that is afforded by an obedient son (Genesis 15:2-3). The rebellious son can only blame himself if his wronged father only gives him an insignificant allowance, or cuts him off altogether; while the servant who has been faithful in the performance of his duties is remembered as one of the household.

Just as silver and gold are purified under intense heat, so a believer’s heart is purified by the heat of trials which the Lord brings (v. 3). The refiner of precious metals knows just what heat is necessary to purge away all dross (what you skim off the top). The same is true of our Lord as He allows us to pass through the fires of affliction ( James 1:2-3; I Peter 1:7). This refinement process creates a separation between the good and the worthless. Troublemakers listen to troublemakers, and liars listen to liars (v. 4).


Faithfulness is the one thing the Lord requires of me as His child. No matter how long I live the most important thing for me is to finish well.

Proverbs 17:1-4 (English Standard Version)

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