Go To Meeting

Michael Heiss—January 13, 2023

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We're going to talk about the Biblical heart. We have different concepts of the heart, but I think you're going to find that what we think the heart is not exactly what God has in mind when He talks of the heart.

We generally separate the heart from the mind. If anybody remembers reading Rudyard Kipling's famous poem The Ballad of East and West[transcriber's correction], there was a good movie made out of that. The story takes place in India and opens up with:

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,

That's how we view the heart and the mind!

That seems to be the seat of emotions, feelings, romance, sometimes jut madly in love. We even have phrases:

  • oh yes, I'm with you
  • thank you from the bottom of my heart

I don't know what the top of the heart looks like, but we say 'the bottom of the heart.' Or sometimes we'll say:

  • yes, I'm with you with all my heart

These things come and actually they're (inaudible) talking about the heart. Have you ever heard the phrase:

  • oh, I'm so warm to the cockles of my heart

Have you every seen a cockle? If you have or have one, please send it, I'd like to see it! That's the heart. But the mind, that's different. That's discipline, logic, think things through, use your head!

That is perhaps best expressed in a song years ago with one of my favorite female vocalist: Olivia Newton John, she came from Australia.. She had one of the softest voices of any female artist I ever heard. Her song in particular was I Honestly Love You. She says:

I got something to tell you
That I never thought I would
But I believe you really ought to know

I love you
I honestly love you

But there's something wrong with it, and she expresses it. She says:

There you are with yours
And here I am with mine
So, I guess we'll just be leaving it at this

A married woman in love with a married man, somebody else! That's the heart and not the head. In that song she also says:

This is a must, realize
That it's coming from my heart and not my head


But that's not how God sees it! God does not see it this way. In terms of the Hebrew there is no such word that expressly discusses the mind. It's not there!

You will see in the English translations, and we're going to look at a Scripture or two that talks about that, but that's not what we call the mind. No! That's the heart; the Biblical heart!

To God, the heart—the two letter word 'leb,' but actually it's the Hebrew word of the letter 'l' and the 'b,' the bet sound: 'leb'; the sum total of all that we are. When God talks about the heart, He's not talking about a pump inside pumping blood. He's not talking about a spiritual heart that is somehow pumping more spirit. No, no, no!

It's talking about the sum total of the person, the insight, inner core, everything you are! So, when God talks about a 'good heart, that your heart was not right with God,' it's everything about that person.

Proverbs 4:23: "Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."

That translation is good, it presents and expresses the meaning of this verse. But do you know that that is not what it says. It's what it means. How many times have we said to ourselves, 'I read this and know what it says, but what does it really mean?'

In this case we can tell what it means, but that's not what it says. We're going to come back to that in just minute.

2-Corinthians 10:4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds, casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ" (vs 4-5).

  • that is a tall order
  • that is much easier said, than done

Prov. 4:23 has a reference, or alternant meaning: "Guard your heart…" That's not really an alternant meaning, actually is what it says! But it wouldn't make much sense in English. How do you guard your heart?

When God is talking about the mind here, He's talking about the whole thing, everything about you. So, we're talking about guarding ones heart. Yet, you think through the heart, not the mind.

In English we know that we really think through the mind, the brain, and we speak through the mouth.. But God describes that whole thing as 'leb': heart.

Verse 20: My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst… the middle] …of your heart" (vs 20-21). The heart is everything!

Now we are going to try to take a look at God's heart. God does have a heart. What is His heart? The same thing the human heart, in a sense! The sum total of all that God is!

  • His thoughts
  • His actions
  • what He says
  • what He does
  • how He thinks

Often I come to the point where I have to pray:

My Father, help me see as You see; help me understand as You understand, not as I understand. I could easily get led astray.

One thing I like about The Israel Bible Center, which I'm in close communication with and I learn a lot. This is their philosophy:

We don't look to what Protestant Christians say, we don't look to what Catholics say, we don't look to what the Jewish rabbis say; we look to the Word, the text! What does the text say?

It doesn't matter what we may think it may say, look to the text.

I wrote member rabbi years and years ago who would say to us:

Stand back, ask yourself: What is the Torah trying to tell us.

I added a little twist to that: What is God trying to tell us through the Torah? This is His Word! This is the knowledge that He wanted handed down.

First of all, we talk about the heart. Let's look at:

Acts 13:22—Paul speaking: "And after removing him [Saul], He raised up David to be their king; to whom He also gave testimony, saying, 'I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart…'"

David was a man after God's own heart, except when he wasn't! Shall we remember a woman name Bathsheba, and a soldier named Uriah? No, David wasn't following God at that point! But his whole being basically was. He repented bitterly. If you wanted to see what David thought and what His attitude was turn to the book of Psalms and:

Psalm 42:1: "As the hart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?" (vs 1-2).

That was David! He did seek after God and tried with all his might!

Now we're going to look a little bit about the heart of God. Remember that God's heart is the sum total of all He is!

  • Is God fair?
  • Is He?

Across this country, and for that matter many countries of the world, you will hear people say over and over again, 'that's not fair! That's not fair! We want fair play!'

  • God never talks about being fair
  • He never declares Himself to be fair

Actually, from a human point of view, He is not fair! Fairness is a human concept. Humans develop fairness and it's subjective. Remember:

What's fair to thee and what's fair to me may not be fair to the 'guy behind the curtain.'

So, we have that and let's look at any example, and you judge for yourself. Think about it from God's point of view, and think of it from a human point of view. Most of us are familiar with this case:

A 'Fair' Wage?

Matthew 20:1: "The Kingdom of Heaven shall be compared to a man, a master of a house, who went out early in the morning to hire workmen for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workmen on a silver coin for the day's wage, he sent them into his vineyard" (vs 1-2).

That's nice, he hired them and they got a chance to earn a living.

Verse 3: "And when he went out about the third hour, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;  and he said to them, 'Go also into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you'" (vs 3-4).

Verse 5: "And they went. Again, after going out about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did likewise. And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all the day?' They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'Go also into my vineyard, and whatever is right you shall receive.' And when evening came, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the workmen and pay them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.'" (vs 5-8).

Verse 9: "And when those who were hired about the eleventh hour came, they each received a silver coin. But when the first ones came, they thought that they would receive more… [because they worked more, harder, longer maybe] …but each of them also received a silver coin. And after receiving it, they complained against the master of the house" (vs 9-11).

They said: 'You're not fair! We worked longer and you're only paying us this much? We're going to report you to the Labor Relations Board. We're going to launch a complaint.'

Well, there was no Labor Relations Board in those days. Why would God hint this?  Contract! Fairness had nothing to do with it!

Verse 13: "But he answered and said to them, 'But he answered and said to them, 'Friend, I am not doing you wrong. Did you not agree with me on a silver coin for the day? Take what is yours and go, for I also desire to give to the last ones exactly as I gave to you. And is it not lawful for me to do what I will with that which is my own? Is your eye evil because I am good?'" (vs 13-15).

Go contracted with each group that there would be a silver coin. The fact that some only worked an hour or two, and others worked maybe 7-8 hours, it's irrelevant. They all agreed to a contract.

  • God believes in keeping contracts
  • He believes in keeping His word

But we don't look at it that way as humans, do we? 'Not fair!' we say. God is many things, and we will see that He is many things.

Leviticus 11:45—In comparison to fairness: 45: for I am the LORD Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall, therefore, be Holy, for I am Holy."

God is also righteous; He seeks justice. But you will notice that not in this verse or any other verse in the Bible does God ever say, 'Be thou fair because I am fair."

NO! He's not fair! Fairness is irrelevant. God says to pursue justice, pursue righteousness!

When we read some of the Scripture that describe God what He's like. What a great God; what a magnificent God we have!


1-Chron. 13 is really a tragic story, but it's real, and there's a reason why it happened:

1-Chronicles 13:7: "And they carried the Ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab. And Uzza and Ahio led the cart. And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with lyres, and with harps, and with drums, and with cymbals, and with silver trumpets" (vs 7-8).

This is a joyous time, a great time! They are going to bring the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem.

Verse 9: "And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the Ark, for the oxen stumbled."

Come on the Ark is going to fall out if I fall to the ground. We have to protect that Ark, that all Uzzah was trying to do. How did God respond to that?

Verse 10: "And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the Ark. And he died there before the LORD. And David was displeased because the LORD had broken forth upon Uzza. And he called that place The Breach of Uzza, as it is to this day. And David was afraid of God that day, saying, 'How shall I bring the Ark of God to me?'" (vs 10-12).

Later on we find out that David did realize what Uzza had done. The fact that Uzza was struck dead was on David. God gave explicit instructions on how to carry the Ark and who was to carry the Ark. That Ark should never have been put in a cart. It doesn't matter that Uzza tried to protect it. From a human point of view I would say, 'God, You are not fair what you did to Uzza!'

Now, God's going to make all right, change it, and Uzza is going to come up in the resurrection and he'll receive a reward; you bet he will! But:

God instructed them. God said who was to carry the Ark, who was to handle all the implements, utensils of the tabernacle later on in the temple: the Levites, nobody else! How were they supposed to carry the Ark? There were rings on each side of the Ark and the Levites were to take poles and put them through the rings and on their shoulders to carry the Ark!

1-Chronicles 15:1: "And David made houses for himself in the City of David, and prepared a place for the Ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, 'No one ought to carry the Ark of God except the Levites…" (vs 1-2).

He really should have known! He knew here and acknowledged it.

"'…for God has chosen them to carry the Ark of God and to minister to Him forever'" (v 2). And they did bring the Ark up!

Why did God strike Uzza dead?

  • First of all, God was disobeyed!
  • Secondly, that Ark was Holy!

God said, 'You shall be Holy (Lev. 11) for I the Lord your God am Holy!' Therefore, God's heart says—His whole being—you have perverted it; you have polluted the Ark, therefore, in righteousness you pay the price.'

God doesn't play fair, He plays by the rules, and He's led by His Spirit because He is Spirit.

Let's look at God's heart. What is the heart? The sum total of all that a person is, so God's heart is a sum total of everything He is:

  • how you describe Him
  • what He does

Joel 2:12: "'Therefore, even now,' says the LORD, 'turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting…'"

"…turn top Me with all your heart…" not your mind! When God says the heart that includes the mind. That's the whole being, the entire essence of what we are. I have a tough time myself remembering that.

When God says that 'his heart was right with God' He's saying that his entire being was acting in accord with God's instructions in every way.

Verse 13: "Yes, rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil."

The word repent means to turn! Repent means you're turning, over and over again, we turn! But we elevated to a spiritual level, and we should when it comes to our relationship with God. 'Repent! Turn to Me!'

Of course, there's a certain amount of sorrow, remorse, because we know we realize that we have disobeyed God, we've gone the wrong way. Now we're happy and we're rejoicing that we're going to receive His Spirit.

Verse 14: Who knows if He will return and repent… [change His mind] …and leave a blessing…"

God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger! Yes, He's slow to anger; He's very gracious, and one of the reasons that He is slow to anger is that God has long nose. Don't know if you know that, but He is long-nosed, slow to anger. When you anger Him, God 'waxes hot' in His nostrils!

God has a long nose so that when His anger goes from His nostrils clear out the nose, it's cooling off. By the time it gets to the end of His nose, He's not that angry anymore. That's how He expresses it. When the Hebrew says that He was angry and blew His stack, He's slow to anger; long nosed. 'I'd never do that, I'd never think of that.' But that's how Hebrew describes it. Aren't we glad that God has a long nose? We  better be!


Nehemiah 9:16: "But they and our fathers acted proudly and hardened their necks, and did not hearken to Your commandments. And they refused to obey; neither were they mindful of Your wonders which You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger… [long nose] …and of great kindness, and did not forsake them" (vs 16-17).

  • God didn't forsake them
  • God is faithful
  • God is all of this

But He's not fair! He never said He was fair, not once!


Numbers 14:17—Nehemiah talking to God: "And now, I beseech You, let the power of my Lord be great, according as You have spoken, saying, 'The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty… [those who refuse to repent] …visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation.'…. [Why? Because of no repentance!] …I beseech You, pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your mercy, and as You have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now" (vs 17-19).

Verse 20: "And the LORD said… [to Moses] …'I have pardoned according to your word.'"

Think of the relationship between God and Moses. God said, 'Moses, I hear you. I speak to you face-to-face, I have pardoned.'

This is the heart of God! This is how He thinks. He's not given to wild outbursts unless there's a real reason for it.  Sometimes there is, but that's what His heart is; His 'leb,' His whole being.

  • He wants to love
  • He wants to forgive
  • He wants to be gracious

That's His mind, too, but remember that the mind is part of the heart.

Exodus 34:5: "And the LORD came down in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him [Moses] and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth'" (vs 5-6). That's the heart of God:

  • truth
  • justice
  • righteousness
  • mercy
  • compassion
  • graciousness

What more, really, could we want in a God than that!

Verse 7: "Keeping mercy to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty…"

Why? The guilty aren't repentant! When one repentant in terms of God you are no longer guilty. It says that the guilty who have sinned do not repent. Oh yes, they are going to get a tough time from God.

"…visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, to the third and to the fourth generation" (v 7).


Now I would like to cover a section in Genesis that often is misunderstood. Gen. 6 is talking about God's heart here. The first four verses is showing what men were like.

Genesis 6:5: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually"—not the mind!

Their entire being was corrupt, everything about them was corrupt.

Verse 6: "And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. And the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the crawling thing, and the fowl of the air; for I repent that I have made them'" (vs 6-7).

That is the English and is not necessarily wrong, buy that is not the meaning and intent of the Hebrew. When you read the Hebrew in context as it flows, you realize what God is really saying here.

We say that context is everything, well in Hebrew that is. Maybe not everything, but it's an awful lot. I can tell you that God did not repent that He made man. He never intended to say that and does not say that in the Hebrew. Yet, the word that is translated can give that impression. Let's re-read this:

Verse 6: "And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart."

We need to realize that when it says that God repented that He made man, it really means He was sorry that He made man. Why was He sorry? He was grieved in His heart."

Grieved means anguished, pained! What the Hebrew is describing as a God Who is just shaking His head and saying, 'Oh My people, how could you do this!?'

What was He repenting of? He was sorry, not that He made man… Remember, what we read in:

Genesis 1:26: "And God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion…'"—and rule!

Was God sorry that He did that? No!

Genesis 2:7: "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

  • Was God sorry that He did that?
  • Was He repenting of doing that?
  • No!

God was sorry that man did what he did! That's what grieved God; that's what God meant when He said that He repented. What He means is that. 'I'm so sorry that the man and the woman that I formed…'

Remember God hand-crafted Adam and Eve. He said, 'I'm so sorry that their off-spring descended into debauchery, into such bestiality. That's what he was sorry about. When we look at this, He wasn't repenting that He made man, He was sorry that He made man, and grieved, truly pained.

The word for repent is 'naham,' which means breathing heavily. It's as thought God was saying, 'Oh no!' God doesn't breath that way, but it's pictured as though he did. God is a feeling God.

Some day, if I can work it out, I would like to talk about the Elohim of the Torah, as we think of God. I tell you honestly and sincerely the word and the meaning of Elohim, El Shaddai, or El Elyon is not the same as the English word God.

There's so much entrusted upon that name, because there are things we associate with God that the Bible never associates with Elohim. Hopefully, one day I will be able to point that out.

This God was grieved! We all think of God, the Great God, is grieving? Almost crying? Yes! God has feelings and emotions!

Remember heart—'leb'—this is God's 'leb.'

Genesis 6:5: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart" (vs 5-6).

What did God resolve?

Genesis 8:21: "And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in His heart…"—the 'leb.'

He said to His whole being, His whole essence. He was promising Himself as He promised the world:

"…'I will not again curse the ground for man's sake—although… [or even though] …the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth…" (v 21).

In spite of that, I'm not going to destroy the earth like that. Remember, God hated to see the way that it was done. He planned for it.

Revelation 13:8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

God knew that man was going to sin! He knew that the heart of man, the totality of man, without God's Spirit:

  • cannot succeed
  • cannot be righteous
  • cannot be pure

He knew that; it was part of His plan that would eventually bring man, bring the True Sacrifice, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His blood and He would give us all His Spirit.

With His Spirit we can truly obtain life. But God knew that it could not be done! But there are things that we have that are done that God doesn't really know about.

We say, for example, that we have this idea that God is all-knowing, He knows everything. He knows you even before you even do anything.

Let's take a look at something that God says where He talked about not knowing everything. Let's look at where God says three times—it's recorded three times—that 'My mind never thought of that… I never entered My mind that man would sink so low.' If God knew everything ahead of time, He would never have written this.

Jeremiah 7:30: "'For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,' says the LORD. 'They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it. They have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire… [human sacrifice] …which I did not command them, nor did it even come into My mind'" (vs 30-31).

He didn't realize that man would sink that low. Of course, he could be violent, but sacrifice or slaughter your own sons/daughters…! That's printed three times!

Jeremiah 19:5: "They have also built the high places of Baal to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I never commanded nor spoke, nor did it come into My mind."

Now, it either didn't come to His mind, He didn't realize that man was going to be that bad, or He's a liar.

God is not a liar. We have the idea that God knows everything, even before it happens. That's the English concept of God, which goes back to Greek philosophy, Egypt and Babylon.:

Romans 1:18—Paul says: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness."

They have encrusted the name of God with all kinds of stuff that you never see in the Old Testament, the Torah.

Jeremiah 32:35: "And they built the high places of Baal, in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to sacrifice their sons and daughters… [once again, the repetition]: …which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin."

When God says something once, that should be enough. But when He has it recorded three times, you get the point! That shows you God's mind, His heart. He hates that, He really does. No, God didn't know.

The Hebrew word for God is Elohim. So, whenever we're looking at Elohim, El Shaddai or El Elyon, it's a type, it means:

  • Pharaoh
  • Caesar
  • King
  • Czar
  • (inaudible)

It's not a name—it's a tetragrammaton—that is a name of God, because God has caused it to be written more than once.


Elohim—meaning Mighty One, Ruler is (inaudible) but Elohim is never connected with being the One, the Distant unknowable, uncaring, mysterious One Who Knows all things, even before it happens.

It's true that God can read your mind. The reason God can read the mind is because of the physical phenomena. God has a receiver.

It is known that the human mind is like a radio station, radio signal, TV signal, it broadcasts. If you have the right receiver… Here in the L.A. area I like and AM station KABC, so when I tune into 790 I'm going to hear them loud and clear.

When you think a thought, it goes clear out into what we call the universe. It's just out there. God has a massive receiver. So, when your thoughts go out, you've broadcasted it! He knows everything that way because He has this mammoth size receiver.

Before you do it, how many times have we read when God said when He went down to Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah, 'I've heard about it, but I'm going to come down and see for myself.'

God didn't know. It was reported to Him. And Fred has often pointed out about the seven spirits of God going to and fro in the earth and feeding God information. Why would He need seven spirits if He knew everything that happened all at once every time? He doesn't! that concept is not there. That's a concept of this (inaudible). That's not the Hebrew concept of Elohim; it's just not!

What we're going to cut it off there, and in part two we're going to talk about man, what God says about the heart of man.

Often times, when you have descriptions, God uses heart ('leb'). Example: Maybe you've seen the movie Brave Heart with Mel Gibson, the story of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and Scotland fighting England for it's independence. Brave Heart is Hebrew.

I remember the show Wyatt Earp and there was a song that said, 'brave, courageous and bold.'

The way we describe courage in the Bible, brave 'leb'—a brave heart.

When a man is deceitful, like the Indians used to say, 'white man speaks with forked tongue.' Like the New Testament talks about a double-minded man.

What is a man who speaks lies and is deceitful? A doubled hearted! He's not speaking straight. We will see a number of those Scriptures how God describes is, using the Hebrew word 'leb,' which is all encompassing. It sums up the sum total of everything we are:

  • everything we ever thought
  • everything we do think
  • every act of ours

It's all called by God: 'leb.' As we will see in part two, we better make sure that our 'leb' is truly right with God.

Scriptural References:

  • Proverbs 4:23
  • 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
  • Proverbs 4:23, 20-21
  • Acts 13:22
  • Psalm 42:1-2
  • Matthew 20: 1-11, 13-15
  • Leviticus 11:45
  • 1 Chronicles 13:7-12
  • 1 Chronicles 15:1-2
  • Joel 2:12
  • Nehemiah 9:16-17
  • Numbers 14:17-20
  • Exodus 34:5-7
  • Genesis 6:5-7, 6
  • Genesis 1:26
  • Genesis 2:7
  • Genesis 6:5-6
  • Genesis 8:21
  • Revelation 13:8
  • Jeremiah 7:30-31
  • Jeremiah 19:5
  • Romans 1:18
  • Jeremiah 32:35

Transcribed: 2/3/23

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