【Bible Study】Proverbs 17: Only God Tests the Heart

Bible Study: Proverbs


Hello everyone, let's study Proverbs chapter 17. The Book of Proverbs was written very well, but it's way too difficult to understand. Some people say that I explain Proverbs well, but it's not easy to learn. I also feel that my explanations are not as good as other people's writing. Only talented people can write such remarkable things. So, I encourage everyone not only to listen to me but also read the original text.

When I was looking for a topic, I realized that the author of Proverbs was too skilled, and trying to find a topic made me dizzy. Everyone experienced confusion at times. Some people give up when they encountered confusion. But, they were just a step away from clarity. For example, when you have been studying Proverbs 17 for an hour already, taking notes and making sketches, then you might find the theme in the next minute.

Someone joked to me, 'Teacher, you're not good yet, you still need to grow.' In fact, over the past few decades, through establishing a church, shepherding people, and solving their problems, I have grown a lot. If I hadn't established the church, how would I have a chance to grow? And if you ask me, “Teacher, what have you been doing recently?” I will say, "I am working hard to grow." Some will say, “Teacher, you don't need to grow. If you keep growing, you will reach the sky!”

We are all in the process of learning and growing. You have to take steps first. After you walk up to the top, you will say "Oh, the scenery is very beautiful." After a while, you will grow up again and say, "Oh, the scenery is changing layer by layer." A person like this will live a very exciting life. How wonderful!

But some people have been standing on that step all their lives, living all their lives the same every day, yesterday was the same as today, today is the same as tomorrow, tomorrow is the same as the day after tomorrow, until death. But we grow every day, how good it is to live like this. When you see those sixty-year-old people around you again, they all look up to you, not because you are seventy years old, but because they see your growth when you speak.

If someone asks where you learned, you can tell them that you learned it in MingDing theology. Every day you learn, and every day you will live happily.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart. (Proverbs 17:3, NIV)

The theme of this chapter comes from verse 3. To put it simply, the theme of this chapter is the sentence in this verse, “But the Lord tests the heart.”

God tests our hearts through our choices.

The path someone takes in their lifetime, and the choices they make, are crucial in determining their destiny. Every time you encounter something and make a choice, you need to know that God is testing your heart. Whatever you value in your eyes, God can easily see from your heart. If you are like a stick or straw, God will throw you into the furnace and it will become nothing.

But when the gold is burned in the fire, it becomes a small ball of gold, and it becomes valuable. God will put this gold into his kingdom. If this person is noble and willing to pay the price, you become as precious as genuine gold and silver. How wonderful that is!

Better a dry crust with peace, than a house full of feasting, with strife. (Proverbs 17:1, NIV)

People in this world like to compete and compete, but when you think about it, why do they compete for these things? Saul sold his title as an older brother just for a bowl of red bean soup. God will curse him. If you eat and drink well all day long, and your mind is full of seizing and grabbing, why not have some bread and live in peace with everyone? What you strive for in this world will determine whether you are noble or not.

Do what is noble in God’s eyes

Many people have been Christians for a lifetime, and after decades, they are struggling with cancer, and life is not going well for them. On the other hand, some people have been Christians for a lifetime, pleasing God and becoming blessings for many.

A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance as one of the family. (Proverbs 17:2, NIV)

God assigned you a good job, to help the mater with his affairs. But if you take all of the possessions of your master's family into your home and claim them as your own, you may become wealthy, but one day you may suffer bitter consequences. In the kingdom of God, some people get the title of the Son of God, but they are not wise in their actions, they will become a shame and disgrace. As long as people mention his name, God disown them, saying, “He is not my son, that is your son.” If you are a servant but are very smart, you will be even better than the master's disgraceful son.

A servant could have taken possession of their master's property, but he managed it well because he had a God-centered value system within him. The value determines what people choose and whether they will be sorted into or out of God's kingdom.

A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. (Proverbs 17:4, NIV)

Many Christians are very selfish. All that they want to do is make money. They do schemes in the church, and as soon as they meet you, they start promoting their health products, claiming it is for your benefit. But if something happens to the scheme, they immediately run away. You can give it a try and borrow 100000 or 200000 dollars from them to see if they will lend it to you. They will never do it. So doing pyramid schemes in the church is all about money. If you try these schemes in our church, let me warn you, you won’t be welcomed tomorrow.

These kinds of people don't fit in our church because, after a few days, they can't even handle the simplest tasks. They are not here to seek God, they are only looking for downlines for their schemes. He won’t be with us for long because God tests the heart. I have a deep understanding of God's approach and I know that God tests the human heart. So I followed God's example and use doing homework, praying, attending gatherings, and participating in training to test people's hearts. Because whether to do these things or not is not really that important. I just need to test people and see if they are real or fake, to seek God. If they are not sincere, they will not be able to survive here.

Test people's hearts during the process of establishing a church

When I was building the church, I often tested people's hearts, much like simmering a soup. And I have various ways. For example, I intentionally mistreated them or gave them a task to see how they handle it. My approach is to put a lot of things in front of you, and then look at your actions, then I will know what kind of person you are.

Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 17:5, NIV)

For example, when one person comes to me and criticizes and judges another person, showing nothing but disdain, or when they take pleasure in someone's misfortune, displaying complete satisfaction. Then I will have a shepherding goal. Because I can see the spiritual garbage inside him. My goal is to remove those things so that he can be refined and become a treasure in the eyes of God.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV)

I often thank God for creating demons. One day, while I was casting out demons, a high-ranking demon spoke to me and said, "Teacher, do you know that I'm here to help you build a church?" I asked, "How are you helping me build a church." It replied, "Do you know the person who left the church? I took them away."

Then I realized this guy knew everything. In fact, the one speaking is the ghost living inside of him, who is speaking to me through his mouth. He said that he took someone from our church. That person has been away from the church for a long time, and I have forgotten that person's name. He knew it all. I said, "That's great, these people are all garbage."

Later, I came to understand a profound truth that many brothers and sisters believed in the Lord not for any other reason, but because demons drove them in.

One of our brothers, was here in 2016 when we started studying Genesis. At that time, he spoke highly of his church, claiming it was quite good. When I contacted him in 2017 and 2018, he was still saying that their church was the same as ours. But in 2021, he was diagnosed with cancer. Although his church had everything, including healing and deliverance, when he got cancer, nobody served him and they just said empty talks.

As a result, I began to serve him, and later he admitted that he had found true love here, which was our heartfelt service. He came to our church and slowly began to realize that what we did was completely different from what he had been taught before, and his heart began to slowly change.

A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn. (Proverbs 17:8, NIV)

Why is bribery so effective? Because many people love money. Even if he were a Christian, when he sees money, he starts feeling weak. In the Bible, there was a prophet Balaam. The king sent him baskets of gold and wanted him to curse Israelites. He had never seen so much money before. So he asked God, “God, can I go with them?” God told him not to.

Two days later, he asked God again, "Can I go with them?" His mind was full of gold. God told him not to, he asked again and again, and finally, God said you can go. But then he almost got killed. Later on, he was killed by the Israelites in the camp of the Midian people for these two baskets of gold.

Although you are the prophet of God, if your heart is attracted by these things, things will go wrong. Brothers and sisters, you need to see clearly how much you love money. If you see those coins as genuine gold and silver, you will quickly like the prophet Balaam. But if you see yourself as genuine gold and silver in the eyes of God, then you are esteemed and precious.

See if people respect authority

You need to know what to choose. Values are often revealed through trials. If someone becomes an official and becomes corrupt, or becomes a dishonest businessman, it becomes evident through trials. Some people, then they are poor, resent not having the opportunity to be corrupt. They see others being corrupt and they also want to become civil servants, not to serve the people, but to have the chance to get bribes. Eventually, they end up corrupting themselves into prison. If you scold him, he won’t listen to you and will think that you are just trying to stop him from making money.

A rebuke impresses a discerning person, more than a hundred lashes a fool. (Proverbs 17:10, NIV)

Many people are picky, it's all a test. When they look at other people's problems, they use a microscope. When they look at their problem, they use a magnifying glass. As someone's subordinate, if you betray your superior for money, it is something detested in the eyes of God. Satan was originally a beautiful angel under God, but he felt dissatisfied. He used one-third of the angels and planned to hold a protest in heaven. However, the protest was defeated before it even started. God's authority isn’t established through election.

Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good. (Proverbs 17:13, NIV)

So Brother and sisters, if you come to us, I will find a bad shepherd to serve you. Some shepherds are not very skilled. Some people may think that he is really unlucky, thinking someone's shepherd was so good while he ended up with a "bad" one. Then it's over, I am done with my testing. Some shepherds are good, but they can't refine people's hearts. I have two goals for serving you here. The first goal is to shepherd you away, and the second goal is to shepherd you into gold and become a noble prince.

Don't think that whether a shepherd is good or bad determines your fate, it's the things in your mind that determine your destiny. If you were Joseph, even if you were sold to Egypt as a slave, it wouldn't stop your promised future. Do you now know why David refused to harm Saul even though Saul wanted to kill him? David was a person who pleased God's heart, and Saul was his superior. David would never harm his superior by any means.

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. (Proverbs 17:14, NIV)

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born in a time of adversity. (Proverbs 17:17, NIV)

Quarrelling is a bad habit, you think you're reasonable, but that's because you're very low and lack insight. What you believe to be just not be. All our lives are experiments, just like making friends. When everything is fine, you get along with each other. But one day when he borrows hundreds of thousands of dollars from you, and later when you asked him for money again, he would turn his back and refuse to recognize you. There is a Chinese saying, "The friendship of a gentleman is as plain as water," which may not be a direct quote from the Bible, but it aligns with its teachings.

I can boast in front of my brothers and sisters. No matter how you treat me, I will not refuse when I need to serve. Our church is very dedicated to serving. And I know some churches don’t serve when needed. Once, a member of a church came to me and asked if I could meet their pastor. After a chat, I realized that the purpose of meeting me was to serve cancer patients in their church because we have the gift and ability to do so. Oh, they wanted to outsource their church's cancer patients to me. I would have to work hard while they collected offerings. Do you think I'm this easy to deceive?

Then I talked to the pastor, "This is a member of your church, you want me to serve him, so I will. But I have a small requirement. If I serve for an hour, can you accompany me for an hour? I won't care if you're playing games and doing whatever you like. But you need to be with me."

They said, "No, that's not possible, I don't have the time", and then they run away. I have time, why doesn't he have time? I tell everyone, this generation is extremely horrible. God not only tested me but also tested that pastor. After testing, God will find out whether they are garbage or gold.

What is inside a person's heart? In my heart, there is a clear sight that when I came to this world, everything that comes to me is just a test of God. I will go further and say, "God, you can often test me, I hope that every test can come up with the correct answer before you."

I desire that one day, when I stand before God. And hope to hear him say to me, "You are a faithful and good servant." Thank God, I hope all my brothers and sisters have such a mindset.


To have a fool for a child brings grief; there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool. (Proverbs 17:21, NIV)

Our God would be unpleasant to see His children are rebellious. But I believe that when our God sees a group of people like us on earth, our God's heart will be satisfied. I wish I could see God happily speaking to this angel, that angel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph in the spiritual world and say, "Do you see this group of people? They are my spiritual children."

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. (Proverbs 17:6, NIV)

**How wonderful it is! It is truly wonderful that God is my glory and God also regards me.**May God's name be lifted high among us for his glory.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22, NIV)

Joy is so important, God is the God of my joy. I will come to my joyful God, and my heart will be satisfied with my God. What a wonderful choice that is.I regard God as my glory, and I am not ashamed of this gospel. This gospel is the power of God, and this power is being manifested among us.

A foolish son brings grief to his father, and bitterness to the mother who bore him. (Proverbs 17:25, NIV)

Don't be a foolish person. I think there are still many things inside us, such as our temperament, way of speaking, and attitude towards reproach which don't please God. God is doing something inside of us.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart. (Proverbs 17:3, NIV)

If you can remember this word, then you will glorify God.

May God bless everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *