(Proverbs 24:12 KJV) If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
When a student would pass me in the hall and say, “See you next period” I would often respond with, “Is that a promise or a threat?” I feel the same way about this verse. It has two statements that can be good or bad, depending on my mood of the moment. The first is that God “pondereth” (weighs NASB) (8505) our “hearts” (3820). On the good side, when we mess up in spite of the best of intentions, God knows what was the desire of our heart. On the bad side, when we do a hallelujah chorus with the wrong motivation He also knows what is going on inside.
The second is that He is going to “render” (7725) according to our “works” (6467). This points out that God expects us to live obedient lives. Yes, we are saved by grace. That simply means we can never do enough to deserve forgiveness and salvation is God’s gift in spite of that. However, that is no excuse for living debauched lives.
So? Take it as a both/and moment. God sees what we do and knows why we do it. Fear and rejoice.