1 Kings 16.30
“And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.”
“A man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.”
The word used for “crooked” in the Proverb quoted above is the Hebrew haphak, and it means “to be turned or perverted.” It describes a heart that has turned away from God and toward error and evil. It is a heart that has become crooked and perverted.
Ahab was haphak.
As I said yesterday, the heart is the executive center of a person’s life. It is the intersection of thinking, feeling, and decision-making. Therefore, if the heart is haphak (turned away from God), a person will be distorted in their thinking and feeling, and they will make bad choices. A person with a haphak heart does not seek what is good, does not discover what is good, and does not do what is good.
This is amplified when the person is a leader. A leader with a haphak heart does not seek what is good for the group they lead. A leader with a crooked heart seeks to advance self. They want position in order to gain power.
This proverb tells us to listen carefully to what leaders say and what they do. It tells us that there is a relationship between a leader’s spirit and their speech. It’s about the condition of the heart and the words that flow from the heart. It is a theme repeated in the book of Proverbs and throughout scripture.
Proverbs 4.23-24 says it this way: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.”
Jesus said it most clearly: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12.34)
A crooked heart neither seeks truth nor speaks truth. It has “crooked” thoughts and says “crooked” things. A crooked heart speaks recklessly, and says wrong things at the wrong time in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. Such speech is hurtful, irritating, disruptive, and destructive.
Those with a rebellious heart ridicule authority, especially God’s authority. They criticize anyone they wish, whenever they please, however they want. Because of their reckless speech, they create problems for others, and eventually fall into calamity themselves.
We are living in a time in American history when many people are saying reckless things from a haphak heart and sewing the seeds of corruption and calamity in our society. We are in a time that is in great need of renewal of the heart. We need leaders to submit their hearts to the hand of God and turn away from the dangerous and distorted ideologies that are destroying our nation.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139.23-24)