Summary: We guard our heart by obeying God's Word.
Your Cheatin’ Heart is a song written and recorded in 1952 by country music singer and songwriter Hank Williams. However, the song was released after his death in 1953.
Your Cheatin’ Heart is considered one of the greatest songs of country music. The song is a slow ballad, telling an unfaithful lover of the guilt that she felt for cheating on the singer. The story goes that Williams was prompted to write the song when thinking about his first wife, Audrey Williams, while driving around with his second wife, Billie Jean Williams. She was supposed to have written down the lyrics for him in the passenger seat. When it was released it remained in the number one slot for country music for six weeks.
Rolling Stone ranked it #213 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2003, Country Music Television ranked the song #5 in CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music but gave it the #1 rating in the 40 Greatest Done Me Wrong (Cheatin’) Songs. Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, and Louis Armstrong are just a few who have recorded the song. Your Cheatin’ Heart was the title of the 1964 movie of Hank Williams life with George Hamilton playing the part of Williams.
It could have been the theme song for King Solomon. Solomon had everything imaginable working in his favor. At first, it seemed as if Solomon would gratefully follow God. He greatly pleased the Lord, and the Lord poured out blessings on this man like no one before or since then. Yet by the end of his reign, he had squandered away nearly every advantage.
In one generation, Solomon took a fledgling nation to superpower status. Alone Solomon’s income in gold was 25 tons/year! The economy was booming. He extended the borders farther than they had ever been. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple, was built in seven years. The nations were drawn to come to Jerusalem and behold the outpouring of God’s blessings on this man and his people. The only thing that exceeded his wealth was his wisdom. However, along the way, Solomon lost sight of the original vision God had for him and the nation to fulfill.
By the time of Solomon’s death, Israel resembled the Egypt from which they had escaped. The government was domineering and held in place by a bloated bureaucracy and slave labor. The state religion was under the ruler’s command. It was more ritual than real. Interest to succeed in personal kingdoms of this world had pushed aside concern for God’s kingdom. God withdrew his blessings on the king and the people because of their cheating heart. After the death of Solomon, the kingdom split in two and slid toward ruin.
Oscar Wilde’s quote describes Solomon. Wilde said, “In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” Solomon got whatever he wanted, especially when it came to symbols of power and status. Because he failed to guard his heart, these things resulted in him depending less on God and more on the props around him: things like the world’s largest harem, a house twice the size of the Temple, a well-equipped army with chariots, and a strong economy. The more he enjoyed the world’s good gifts, the less he thought about the Giver. He failed to guard his heart. (Yancey, Men’s Devotional Bible)
Guarding our heart depends on our relationship to God’s Word. I want you to hear this again. Guarding your heart depends on your relationship with God’s Word. What is your relationship with God’s Word at this moment? If you are reading it, are you obeying it? We can read the Bible but not obey it. Are you reading it? Are you launching out into your week without any real interaction with your mind or will with the Word of God? You are leaving your heart unguarded.
How do you guard your heart?
GUARD YOUR HEART BY OBEYING GOD’S WORD (PROV. 4:20-27)
(20) My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings. (21) Don’t lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. (22) For they are life to those who find them, and health to one’s whole body. (23) Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. (24) Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously. (25) Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. (26) Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. (27) Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.
Solomon is teaching his son God’s truth. He tells his son that the most important duty he has is to guard this truth in his heart. The word guard is not describing a sentry standing on the wall watching for the enemy. The picture is a guard watching a prisoner so that he doesn’t escape. Guarding your heart is not just keeping things out of your heart. It is protecting and keeping God’s truth central and priority for your life.