Penalties for a Hardened Heart

Fred R Coulter—January 29, 2000

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Other parts of the body also have neuro cells in them, too. Most of the major organs of the body—the liver, adrenalins, thyroid and eyes—are a direct extension of the mind, going to the back part of the brain. All of these act as kind of substations or service stations to the mind.

The overall glands of the whole body are directed and controlled by the pituitary gland, which is the major endocrine gland of the body. All of these are functioning, they are not thinking, and there's a difference between it.

So, the Bible, in talking about the heart, is talking about the deepest part of the mind where you as a person really are.

Today, we're going to look at what the Bible says about the heart. Remember, the heart is not the organ that is beating down in your chest. The heart, as far as the Bible is concerned, is the emotional and deepest part of your mental being!'As a man think in his heart, so he is.' That's important!

People can put up many different expressions outwardly to other people, but they never reveal the innermost part of their being, of their heart.

Proverbs 4:23: "Above all guard the door of your mind… [the heart] …with diligence…" In other words, your heart is the most important part of your existence and being. You have to keep it with all diligence!

  • this means that we have control over it
  • this means that we are responsible for it
  • this means that we have to protect it
  • this means that we have to develop and grow in wisdom and understanding

Then you add it God's Spirit to it, and that adds even more.

"…for out of it are the issues of life" (v 23). So, everything that has to do with your human existence as a person has do with your heart.

Every issue of your life comes right back to your heart, because that is the core of your being before God. Then it talks about how you can protect it.

Verse 24: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and devious lips put far from you." In other words, you have to have control and discipline to put these things away. Don't get carried away with it.

Verse 25: "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established…. [That way you establish your heart] …Do not turn to the right hand nor to the left; remove your foot from evil" (vs 25-27). Evil can have a profound affect on your heart or the thinking part of your heart!

Now let look at some basic things concerning the heart. The book of Proverbs has an awful lot to say about it.

Proverbs 16:1: "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the LORD."

What this is telling us is that God made us this way. There is nothing that man can do to change it, but he must control it! God did not make us so that we're robots or automatons.

I was talking to a man who said that he worked in a chip-making plant, and they actually had robots making the chips. So, you have robots making their own parts! But:

  • they cannot give heart
  • they cannot give spirit
  • they cannot give life

You have to have some electricity for that!

God made us this way, v 1: "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the LORD."

Now you come up with a problem in the way that humans think, because we're going to see that man without the Spirit of God is incomplete!

Man by his own directions—his own way of doing things, in his own way—is always going to end up in problems of difficulties.

Verse 2: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes… [because he thinks it, therefore, it's right] …but the LORD weighs the spirits." God is going to test that; He's going to weigh that.

Verse 3: "Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established." In other words, that's how you're going to establish your heart.

Verse 9: "A man's heart devises his way, but the LORD directs his steps." That's very interesting, because God made us so that we must choose, we must plan, we must direct, but God will direct us or lead us in it.

Lot's of times we will do things and wonder why on earth we ever did them. Sometimes we will see that God actually directed that it be done that way. I can look back and see many things that I've done, and afterward wondered why I did them. Later I could look back on it, because we all of great hindsight, and understand it when we look back. That's what God wanted. God hasn't left us alone even in spite of that.

Verse 25: "There is a way that seems right… [upright or good] …to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death." This ties in with:

Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way, which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death."

We go back and look at the story of mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve.

  • Didn't the it seem right?
  • Didn't the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil seem good?
  • Didn't it seem natural?

You know the whole result of that!

Proverbs 21:2: "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD ponders the hearts."

We might say, in looking at these things, that in the heart resides your real being! That part of your mind that the Bible calls the heart is your real being. God is going to ponder it, test it, and see what you're doing.

Proverbs 20:11: "Even a child is known by his own doings…" So, it all comes down from the time that you are born your heart is there! It has to be trained and directed.

Of course, that's a very profound thing as far as childrearing is concerned. The other day I had to go down to the county clerk and there was a woman in there getting a passport for herself, her husband and her two unruly brats, because they were going overseas. These kids were on the floor, under the table, playing guns and shooting at each other. The poor clerk was out of her wits, didn't know what to do. I was patient. I didn't say a word! But I felt like it! It is true, a "…child is known by his doings." Was Christ known by His doings? Yes, He was!

"…whether his work is pure and whether it is right" (v 11). It shows that all of the evil does not necessarily have to enter in there. We are responsible for these things.

Verse 12: "The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made both of them. Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes and you shall be satisfied with bread" (vs 12-13).

I want to cover one verse to show that God, at any time, can know exactly what is in your mind and your heart. We'll see later on that God ponders the heart and God judges the heart. Then we'll get into what kind of heart that David had.

Christ was speaking to the Church at Thyatira and they were all mixed up in all kinds of doctrinal problems and allowed Jezebel in their midst.

Revelation 2:23: "And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts…"

Reins must be some kind of connection that God is able to tap into, to see how you are doing, without necessarily interfering with your thoughts or what you're doing.

"…and I will give to each of you according to your works" (v 23).

Let's see some very interesting things. We're going to talk about the way the heart is, and the evils of the heart. God also made the heart so that it could be converted. I want to show this before we get into the evils of the heart, lest people think that there's no way out. There is a way out. We're going to see that the Bible really lays it bare concerning the human heart.

Ezekiel 18:30: "Thus I will judge you, O house of Israel, each one of you according to his ways,' says the Lord GOD. 'Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin."

God is the One Who leads us to repentance. So, the heart is able to be changed! You can change your thinking in your heart by repentance. Here's how to do it:

Verse 31: "'Cast away from you all your transgressions by which you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit;… [which obviously comes from God] …for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no delight in the death of him who dies,' says the Lord GOD. 'Therefore, turn yourselves and live" (vs 31-32). That's the desire of God!

I wanted to cover that before I came to Jer. 17, because this is perhaps the most revealing chapter in the Bible concerning the evil of the heart, and also the goodness of the heart.

Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars."

This is what you call a hard heart! The heart is hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Now let's look at some things concerning hard hearts.

We know the whole story Pharaoh, who hardened his heart. Then something else happened: God also hardened Pharaoh's heart. So, if a person hardens his or her heart against God, God may even make it even harder like He did with Pharaoh.

Let's see about a hard heart and other things about the heart that we can pick up, too.

Proverbs 21:29: "A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, he establishes his way."

Proverbs 28:14: "Blessed is the man who fears always…" Why is that kind of fear important and necessary? Because it keeps you from hardening your heart!

"…but he who hardens his heart shall fall into mischief" (v 14).

Then when it's carried even further, Proverbs 29:1: "A man who hardens his neck when reproved shall be suddenly broken, and that without remedy."

  • Did that happen to Pharaoh and all of his troops? Yes!
  • Is that not a real story of life?

When people are being reproved, they often will not take correction; they won't yield to God! "…shall be suddenly broken… [destroyed] …and that without remedy."

There are even problems with hardness of heart in the New Testament. Even Jesus said of His disciples, 'O you of hard hearts and slow to understand.'

Mark 6:48: "And He saw them laboring in their rowing, because the wind was contrary to them. And about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was an apparition; and they cried out, because they all saw Him and were alarmed. And immediately He spoke to them, and said to them, 'Be of good courage; it isI. Do not fear.' Then He went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased. And they were amazed in themselves far beyond measure, and wondered. For they did not understand the miracle of the loaves, because their hearts were hardened" (vs 48-52).

Even God, in calling the disciples and the apostles, He showed that the human heart is hardened. Jesus had to correct them several times.

Mark 8:16: "And they were reasoning with one another, saying, 'It is because we do not have any bread.' But Jesus knew it and said to them, 'Why do you reason that I said this because you do not have any bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts still hardened?'" (vs 16-17).

What else happens when there's a hard heart?

Verse 18: "'Don't you see with your eyes? Don't you hear with your ears? And don't you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?' They said to Him, 'Twelve.' 'And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?' And they said, 'Seven.' Then He said to them, 'Why is it that you still don't understand?'" (vs 18-21).

The lesson is that of the simple things of life, God is able to make those increase and abound, also having the power of God behind it. But they hardened their hearts, and we're going to see that it is sin that hardens the heart!

We're going to see that there's a phenomena that happens. Once a person has a hard heart and does not turn and repent, then it becomes harder. They set themselves more firm in it.

Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?…. [that's we need to repent to God with all our heart] …But you, according to your own hardness and unrepentant heart, are storing up wrath for yourself against the day of wrath and revelation of God's righteous judgment, who will render to each one according to his own works" (vs 4-6).

Let's see what happened to the Israelites, and Paul gives this as a warning. We can see this, because it's quoted from Psa. 95, which is the Sabbath Psalm. What is the thing that Sunday-keepers have hardened their hearts to? Sabbath-keeping!

Hebrews 3:7: "For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice.'" I want you to notice the choices that God gave them all the way through. The choices that God gave to the children of Israel. This is showing that today a change can be made; today the heart can be softened!

Verse 8: "Harden not your heart, as in the rebellion, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years" (vs 8-9). Even after that they still didn't believe.

Verse 10: "Because of this, I was indignant with that generation, and said, 'They are always going astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.'" That is profound! They were right there with God with them in the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, and they still didn't know the ways of God! They had a case of hard-heartedness that was absolutely astounding.

Verse 11: "So, I swore in My wrath, 'If they shall enter into My rest—' Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God. Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (vs 11-13). That's how the heart is hardened!

Verse 14: "For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end. As it is being said, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion'" (vs 14-15).

That's really quite a thing! The choice is always laid before them!

Verse 16: "For some, after hearing, did rebel, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He indignant for forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, except to those who had disobeyed? So, we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief" (vs 16-19).

This also tells us that if a person has a hard heart, he or she does not believe! I think we can see this with some of the things that we have witnessed in the Church in recent years.

Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern… [an exposer of] …the thoughts and intents of the heart." God knows!

Verse 13: "And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account." That's why the calling to salvation is so important!

This is really something! I think one of the things that has happened with this modern age—we have so many modern things and so many accomplishments of men—that somehow the simplicity of Christ, praying, studying, repenting and yielding to God, somehow just gets missed!

That's why we're called the Laodicean age, they're lukewarm! But we can come to God at any time:

Verse 14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin" (vs 14-15). God knows!

Verse 16: "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

That's what we need to do constantly! We have enough pulling against the human flesh to pull us down and tear us down, and the temptations of the world. We need to always go to Christ; always go to God!

Let's see the contrast of the human heart. It also affects others. Here with Judah it affected all their children:

Jeremiah 17:2: "while their children remember their altars and their Asherim beside every green tree on the high hills. O My mountain in the field, I will give your wealth and all your treasures for spoil, and your high places because of sin, throughout all your borders. And you, even of yourself, have let go of the inheritance, which I gave you…" (vs 2-4). Because of their hard heart, God took them out of their land!

"…and I will cause you to serve your enemies in a land, which you do not know. For you have kindled a fire in My anger, which shall burn forever" (v 4). Some people can sin that much, that the anger of the Lord is just kindled greatly!

Verse 5: "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.'"

  • How do you trust in men?

Looking to men instead of God!
Looking to yourself instead of God!

  • Is that not trusting in your own flesh?
  • Is that not trusting in your own way?

Yes it is!
Verse 6: "For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes…." Won't even recognize it. It's so given over to the hardness of heart, and departing from God because of sin, it can't even recognize goodness! Can't even see any good.

"…But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is the LORD" (vs 6-7). Then He shows the contrast!

Verse 8: "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit."

Let's look at that as an analogy for us spiritually. I think that in all the scattering that we've had with the Church, if we are connected directly with God the Father and Jesus Christ, this is what it's talking about. Jesus said, 'Come to Me! All that come to Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. That is the Holy Spirit!

If we have the Holy Spirit and are connected to God, we are just like tree planted by the river. Of course, Egypt is a very good example of it. You've got Egypt as a desert country, but you have the Nile River running right down the middle of it. As long as they're up close to the river, everything is green, everything grows and it's very productive. Then out on the Delta they have some of the richest, most productive land in the world, and has been for thousands and thousands of years.

Verse 9: "The heart is deceitful above all things…" Tie that together with 'every way of a man is just in his own eyes; every way of a man is clean in his own eyes.'

The human heart by itself, especially as inspired by Satan the devil, is "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (v 9). You can't know your own heart by looking into your heart. You have to look into the Bible and let God's Spirit help you look into your heart!

You have to go to Christ and open your heart to Him, because He is the One Who can show if there's hardness of heart! He is the One Who takes it away.

Verse 10: "I the LORD search the heart… [ties in with Rev. 2:23] …I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."

God is going to do that! That's just the way that it is! It's going to happen in time. The next verse show us that it takes time:

Verse 11: "As the quail that hatches eggs it has not laid…" These are infertile eggs and the partrich or quail is so stupid that it just sits there, and they don't hatch.

"…in the same way he who gets riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the middle of his days, and in his end he shall be a fool. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary" (vs 11-12)—showing again them turning to God!

Verse 13: "O LORD, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. 'Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth because they have forsaken the LORD, the Fountain of living waters.' Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved; for You are my praise" (vs 13-14)—this is Jeremiah speaking!

Jeremiah even said in one place, 'Oh, I curse the day that I was born,' because of what he had to go through as a prophet of God.

Penalties of the Heart

I think it's amazing how the Bible talks about the heart all the way through. With the hardness of heart and the deceitfulness of sin, and continuing in that, here's what God will do! These are all part of the curses of the covenant that God gave.

Deuteronomy 28:28: "The LORD shall strike you with madness and blindness and astonishment of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall always be pressed down and spoiled forever, and no man shall save you" (vs 28-29).

These curses are pretty heavy! Why are they heavy? Read all of Deut. 28, and we will probably live to see in our lifetime a lot of it executed upon the United States. Look at the things that are going on. One man said that he has proved that the United States is Babylon instead of Israel. But he fails to understand that the whole world is being Babylonianized! The whole world!

Verse 43—concerning Israel: "The stranger dwelling among you shall get up above you very high… [he's not there, yet, but he's climbing] …and you shall come down very low." How did that happen?

Verse 44: "He shall loan to you, and you shall not loan to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. And all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes, which He commanded you. And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever. Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things" (vs 44-47).

If you serve God because you grudgingly are forced to, that may be just a little better than sinning, but not much. God wants you to:

  • obey Him from the heart
  • love Him from the heart
  • serve Him from the heart
  • hope in His way from the heart

Verse 48: "Therefore, you shall serve your enemies, which the LORD shall send against you in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in the want of all things. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you." That's talking about physical Israel!

What about spiritual Israel when they fall away? I've talked to so many people whom they used to know in Church and they meet them now and it's kind of like a stranger they are talking to. Something has been taken from them! That's exactly what it is. They're back out in the world! Then what is going to happen?

Verse 65: "And among these nations you shall find no ease; neither shall the sole of your foot have rest. But the LORD shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and sorrow of mind. And your life shall hang in doubt before you, and you shall fear day and night, and shall have no assurance of your life" (vs 65-66). That's what happens when they go into captivity!

Talking about the atheist, one who doesn't believe in God, and there is a penalty that takes place:

Psalm 12:1: "Help, O LORD, for the Godly man ceases; for the faithful disappear from among the children of men. They speak falsehood each one with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak" (vs 1-2).

  • they've got a secret agenda behind them
  • they have a plan that they're working out and executing

Verse 3: "The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things, who have said, 'With our tongue we shall prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?'" (vs 3-4).

That sounds like the likes of some of those who we can see on television every day, especially the main political figure in the United States, President Bill Clinton. That think that describes his State of the Union speech; he thinks he can get away with everything!

Verse 5: "'For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, I will now arise,' says the LORD. 'I will set him in safety from him who puffs at him.' The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (vs 5-6).

It shows the way that we recover from these things is to always go back to God! In other words of God, as compared to the words of these atheists men; that's what it's comparing to. "The words of the LORD are pure words…" vs the vain words of men who reject God.

Verse 6: "The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times You shall keep them, O LORD; You shall preserve them from this generation forever. The wicked walk on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men" (vs 6-8).

That's what we're seeing happening today. Those are some of the penalties that come.

Psalm 58:1: "Do you indeed speak righteousness, O mighty lords? Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men? Yea! In your heart you work wickedness…" (vs 1-2). If that's not talking about the political experience we're going through today…

"…you weigh out the violence from your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb; they who speak lies go astray from birth" (vs 2-3). It comes right out of the heart, part of the being!

Proverbs 10:20—this tells us what God thinks about those things: "The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver…" That ties in with Psa. 12:6 about the words of God. That means that the tongue of the just is speaking the words of God.

"…the heart of the wicked is worth little" (v 20).

A Perverse Heart

Proverbs 12:8: "A man shall be praised according to his wisdom, but he who is of a perverse heart shall be despised."

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Verse 20: "Deceit is in the heart of those who imagine evil…" Another penalty if you imagine evil and deceitfulness.

Proverbs 16:5: "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD… [that's quite a penalty] …though joined hand in hand, he shall not be unpunished."

It doesn't matter how many votes you have for your side, how many belong to your party, or how close are you to one another!

Verse 6: "By mercy and Truth iniquity is purged…" Again, we're coming back to the Word of God, the Spirit of God to clean and change the heart.

"…and by the fear of the LORD men turn away from evil" (v 6). That's how to get rid of that penalty.

It will be interesting to see how the political situation unfolds. We can look back at the whole thing of WWII and Adolph Hitler.

Haughtiness & Pride

Proverbs 18:12: "Before destruction, the heart of man is haughty…" Did that happen? Yes! He had success and went into the countries.

Remember what happened when he conquered France and went in to sign the treaty there in the same little train car that they signed the treaty after WWI? Hitler stood there happy and kicked his heels together. When they marched into Czechoslovakia he was uplifted, the greatest thing in the world for all the German people. They went and took Poland, they almost conquered Russia! The winter of the fourth year in Russia was the one that was the beginning of the destruction of Germany.

  • it doesn't happen in an instant
  • it doesn't happen in a day
  • it doesn't happen in a year

But over a process of time, because God also gives time for repentance if a person would be willing to turn. But it happens!

Verse 12: "Before destruction, the heart of man is haughty…" I wonder if we did not see that in the State of the Union message by Bill Clinton in 2000.

"…and before honor is humility" (v12).

Proverbs 21:4: "A high look, a proud heart and the plowing of the wicked are sin." All their plans, all their programs, all their works, everything that they do.

I love the Proverbs. It is said so succinctly that it doesn't leave much room for commentary.

Proverbs 26:23: "Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a broken piece of pottery with silver dross"—the black clunky melted rock that is worthless! That's what it's talking about here.

We see that in the way criminals are handled, that when they're not handled in the right way it brings a penalty upon everyone, not just the criminals; everyone suffers.

Ecclesiastes 8:11: "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore, the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil"—to continue to do it.

I think that this really explains so much when you come to criminal justice, whether it be for murder, drugs or any illegal activity. Once you the sentence, the judgment, then if there is room for mercy and compassion after that then you have it. But you have the judgment and sentence first, so they don't think they're getting away with it.

There's one other thing that happens and it's called a fat heart. I've often thought about that. But when you look at the heart that you have, what happens if it gets too much fat? They've found out that they have found with heart transplants, which now they say is now almost a routine thing! What they try and do is get hearts of young people, or if a teenager is in an accident and killed and get that teenage heart, and put it into the recipient. They are now finding that teenage hearts have plaque and blockages!

They first discovered this kind of thing during the Korean War, when they found that many of the soldiers had heart problems: closing of arteries and building up of plaque. Teenagers with plaque in their hearts blows my mind. It's all because of the way that they're eating. And I'm sure that with the drugs that they're taking and including the illicit sex that they're involved in, because it all ties together and affects the whole body.

  • it affects the mind
  • it affects the heart
  • it affects the liver
  • it affects your whole body

Isaiah 6:8: "And I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I; send me!' And He said, 'Go, and tell this people, "You hear indeed, but do not understand; and you see indeed, but do not perceive." Make the heart of this people fat…'" (vs 8-10).

That's a good description. If they have hearts that are ladened down with fat—and you can liken that unto sin—or the plaque that clogs it all up, they certainly are not going to live long.

It's the same way spiritually. I think it's a good analogy between a faulty heart and being made fat.

"…and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and return, and be healed" (v 10). That's what happens when people have hard hearts against the Word of God! Everything closes down. Then you get in more and more trouble spiritually!

Negative Things Concerning the Heart

Numbers 32:6—this can be done: "And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, 'Shall your brothers go to war, and shall you sit here?'"

In other words, Reuben and Gad already had their possessions east of the Jordan. So, Moses was now saying, 'You're not going to sit here in your possession and let the rest of them go fight for their possessions.

Verse 7: "And why do you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD has given them?"

So, there's such a thing as a discouraged heart, someone who is down and out. That's a little different than a broken heart, which we'll see next.

First of all you have a discouraged heart, and if you let that weigh you down and carry you down, then you get a broken heart. If you add to that all the other problems: hardness of heart, bitterness of heart, sorrow of heart; that can really take you down.

Psalm 34:14 "Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Showing again that you have actively and diligently do it.

Verse 15: "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth…. [you might say all the hardhearted] …The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are of a contrite spirit" (vs 15-18). God is ready to help, even though these things take place!

Now we'll look some more in Proverbs concerning the heart. These are not necessarily dealing with hardness of heart as we've covered. These are different aspects of the heart. One of the missions of Christ is to heal the brokenhearted.

Proverbs 6:16: "These six things the LORD hates; yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked imaginations…" (vs 16-18).

That's exactly where we are today in this world. We have so many wicked imaginations producing things that it's just unreal.

"…feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren" (vs 18-19).

The one I wanted focus on here is v 18: "A heart that plots wicked imaginations…"

Rom. 1—here again we have what happens when men harden their hearts and turn against God, go against Him and do their own way. Here they were at a place where they rejected God. There can't be any harder heart than rejecting God.

Romans 1:21: "Because when they knew God… [there was time when the ancients knew God] …they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but they became vain in their own reasonings, and their foolish hearts were darkened." By their very conduct God did this!

Verse 22: "While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools… [with a darkened heart you become a fool] …and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed creatures, and creeping things. For this cause, God also abandoned them to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to disgrace their own bodies between themselves" (vs 22-24).

Today they are legalizing homosexual marriages. There is going to come a penalty that will take place as a result of that. We can just look for more disasters than you have ever thought of.

There's a book written by David Hunt, and he shows how that every time there has been official legislation to give license to the homosexuals. disasters hit. He's got this document. Don't be surprised when disasters hit.

  • God gave them over
  • God is going to give us over
  • God is going to give this society over

The society that approves it is in deep trouble with God!

Verse 24: "For this cause, God also abandoned them to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts…"

Again, it goes right back to what is in the deepest part of their mind and their emotions.

Verse 25: "Who exchanged the Truth of God for the lie; and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the One Who is Creator, Who is blessed into the ages. Amen. For this cause, God abandoned them to disgraceful passions…" (vs 25-26). Notice:

  • God is the One Who causes it
  • God is the One Who does it

"…for even their women changed the natural use of sex into that which is contrary to nature; and in the same manner also the men, having left the natural use of sex with the woman, were inflamed in their lustful passions toward one another—men with men shamelessly committing lewd acts, and receiving back within themselves a fitting penalty for their error. And in exact proportion as they did not consent to have God in their knowledge, God abandoned them …" (vs 26-28). Again, God gave them over!

"…to a reprobate mind to practice those things that are immoral" (v 28). Then it lists all the things that come as a result of that!

Verse 29: "Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, guile, evil dispositions; whisperers, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things and practices; disobedient to parents, void of understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable and unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who commit such things are worthy of death, not only practice these things themselves, but also approve of those who commit them" (vs 29-32).

That's what happens when the society comes to the point of hardening its heart, instead of having a broken heart and repent and turn to God! God is going to have to send this nation off into captivity in order to soften its heart, to give it:

  • a heart of fear
  • a heart of repentance

To see, as a result of all the horrible things that they have brought upon themselves that they may repent. So, Rom. 1 describes about the heart that devises wicked imaginations, a complete exposition of that.

Proverbs 12:25: "Heaviness in the heart of man weighs it down…" Sometimes it's just sadness. Sometimes people carry around sadness and sorrow a long time. Some people carry it around way too long and they can end up with a broken heart later on.
"…but a good word makes it glad" (v 25). That's why the New Testament has:

  • repentance
  • forgiveness
  • grace
  • mercy
  • hope
  • faith
  • love

to uplift the heart! We have all those things in the New Testament, and that's why Christ came.

Now we see a different kind of heart, Proverbs 17:20: He who has a perverse heart finds no good…"—a froward heart! Someone who goes around and does things that are wrong, evil and stupid, and thinks they are good and doesn't even understand what they're doing.

Proverbs 22:15: "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

Of course, that's why Satan has inspired the societies today, that you don't dare correct children at all. Look what we have, a society of little monsters running around everywhere.

Proverbs 28:25: "He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife…" He's so self-centered and everything that wherever he goes he just stirs up trouble!

"…but he who puts his trust in the LORD shall be enriched" (v 25)—made righteous!

The Contrast of the Heart

I think that Psa. 101 is quite eye-opening! This is contrasting the heart of the righteous vs the wicked.

Psalm 101:1: "I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praise. I will behave myself wisely in a blameless way. O when will You come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart" (vs 1-2).

Is it possible that through repentance and conversion to have a perfect heart? Yes! God gives it! But the person has to be willing to repent and forsake the other things of the heart that we thought through, all the other aspects.

Verse 3: "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes. I have hated the work of those who turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me…" (vs 3-4). This showing repentance. He had a froward heart, but now it's departing from him, showing that it can be changed!

"…I will know no evil thing. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, in secret I will cut him off; he who has a haughty look and a proud heart, I will not allow. My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, so that they may dwell with me; he who walks in a blameless way, he shall serve me…. [notice the contrast]: …He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who tells lies shall not remain in my sight" (vs 4-7). Apply this to God, that this is God saying this.

  • Is anyone going to be in the Kingdom of God who is deceitful? No!
  • Is anyone going to be in the Kingdom of God who tells lies? No!

It says that 'excluded from New Jerusalem are all liars" (Rev. 22).

Verse 8: "Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, so that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD."

You talk about a clean sweep going through and getting rid of it! David really had his heart set right.

Psa. 64 is another contrast between the heart of the righteous and the heart of the wicked, and it also shows the reason why God has to call us out of the world. We have to be called out so that we are not living that way anymore, and why we have Sabbath services every week where we study the Word of God. We go through it and put it in our heart and mind. It all has to do with changing the heart.

Psalm 64:1: "Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked…" (vs 1-2).

Jesus also prayed that God the Father would keep us from the wicked one. That doesn't mean that the wicked one won't be out there pursuing us. It means that God is going to deliver us. God will! Jesus prayed that prayer: Do you not think that prayer will be answered? Yes, it will!

"…from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, who sharpen their tongue like a sword and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words; so that they may shoot at the blameless from concealment—suddenly they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in an evil plan; they talk of laying snares secretly; they say, 'Who shall see them?' They plot injustices, saying, 'We have made a perfect plan.' For the inward thought and heart of man is cunning" (vs 2-6).

In other words, it so deep into them that it's almost impossible to get out.

Verse 7: "But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly they shall be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue a stumbling block for themselves. Everyone seeing them shall shake the head. And all men shall fear and shall declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider His doing. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD and shall take refuge in Him, and all the upright in heart shall glory" (vs 7-10).

When we finally see that God is intervening to do these things and take care of them, then we will glory in God!That's why we're not to be discouraged and despaired when problems and difficulties happen. Lots of times we think that we're the only ones in the world that problems. Everybody in the world has problems, whether in the Church or out of the Church.

God has given us the ways and means on how to overcome them, to change and to grow. To come out of those things and have our heart made perfect!

I think it interesting that the Psalms and Proverbs have so much to do with the heart. The one I will do on the heart of David and what his attitude was, I think will help all of us. Why was David called a man after God's heart? We'll find out.

Proverbs 10:8: The wise in heart will receive commandments… [that's very profound] …but a prating fool shall fall"—because he won't receive them.

In other words, only those who are wise in heart will receive the commandments of God. Then we start applying that to Sabbath-keeping, the Holy Days and the plan of God; everything like that. Then we understand how important it is to have tender heart before God.

  • not hard heart, a tender heart
  • not a heart of condemning, a loving heart
    • that doesn't mean that we back away and don't make right judgments
    • that doesn't mean that we don't condemn wickedness

That means that we have a right understanding with a right heart, and we will receive the commandments of God!

Proverbs 22:10: "Cast out the scorner…" There are a lot of scorning people out there that have millions of doctrines it seems.

"…and contention shall go out; yea, quarreling and abuse shall cease. He who loves pureness of heart, on whose lips is grace, the king shall be his friend" (vs 10-11). That's what we have to strive for, a pure heart!

  • Who had to purest heart?
  • Who had the most perfect heart?
  • Christ!
  • Is Christ in us give that? Yes!
  • Can Christ in us lead us through it? Yes!

I don't know exactly what this means, but it says here, which is kind of another Proverb of Solomon:

Ecclesiastes 10:2: "A man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left."

I'm sure that's not talking about the placement of it, otherwise it would be easy to recognize fools. And we would have to say, since our heart is on the left side of us, we're all fools! So, we can't take the literal interpretation of this.

I don't know the implications of it, so if anyone can help me out with that, I would appreciate it. I think it has to do with someone who is right handed, that if you're right handed that you know what you're doing. And if you are right handed you're a fool and it's like using your left hand and you don't what to do and you can't control it.

I know that I'm very predominately right handed, and if I try and do something with my left hand, I'm foolish and awkward and it comes out kind of stupid.

I saw a program where a man had no arms and he learned to do everything with his feet. He even learned how to take care of his own infant son, to change diapers and all that sort of thing. We think we have it difficult with the trials and things that we go through. If someone had both their arms cutoff, they would say, 'Oh my, I just can't do it. I'll just sit back and let everybody wait on me hand and foot.' NO! Get up and 'not let this hold me back, I'm not going to let anything take me back.' This is a man who had:

  • a heart of wisdom
  • a heart of courage
  • a heart of determination

to be able to do that! I know that when I saw it, it brought tears to my eyes that a man could to do that.

Let's understand that God gives us a heart! In other word, with God's Spirit He can change the heart!

Let's look at when Saul was being called to be king. In order to be king then something happened to Saul, which God did and that made Saul to be king. He gave Saul another heart.

1-Samuel 10:9: "And it came to pass when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God changed him with another heart. And all those signs came to pass on that day." And Saul went on to prophesy and so forth and the people recognized that God had called Saul to be king.

Can God give us another heart? Yes! A new heart! A new spirit! That's why He started out with that to begin with. Let's also see that God judges the heart. What happened to Saul later on? He failed to obey God from the heart, and he went on his own way and rejected God!

1-Samuel 15:26: "And Samuel said to Saul, 'I will not return with you, for you have rejected the Word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.'"

Why? Because after God gave him another heart, that he would be king, he rejected that and went his own way with his own thoughts! He listened to the people, rebelled against God—which is worst than witchcraft—went against His commandments and didn't repent! Where there's no repentance, that's a rejection of God! So, God had to get a new king. Samuel was told to go down and anoint a new king.

1-Samuel 16:6: "And it came to pass as they came in, he saw Eliab and said, 'Surely the LORD'S anointed is before the LORD.' But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his face, nor on his height because I have refused him, for the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart'" (vs 6-7).

That's what God looks at. That's why it's the reins of the heart! We know the story. Jesse made all his sons pass by twice:

Verse 10: "And Jesse passed seven of his sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, 'The LORD has not chosen these.' And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Are all your children here?'…." (vs 10-11).

God looks upon the heart, and looks at things differently than human being do.

"…And he said, 'There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he keeps the sheep.' And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Send and bring him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.' And he sent and brought him in. And he was ruddy with beautiful countenance and good form. And the LORD said, 'Arise, anoint him, for this is he'" (vs 11-12).

We'll see later that David was a man after God's heart from his youth! Even though he did commit grave sins, his heart never turned from God!

Verse 13: "And Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrified him" (vs 13-14).

It shows an overt contrast! This study that we're doing is really quite profound!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Proverbs 4:23
  • Proverbs 16:1-3, 9, 25
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Proverbs 21:2
  • Proverbs 20:11-13
  • Revelation 2:23
  • Ezekiel 18:30-32
  • Jeremiah 17:1
  • Proverbs 21:29
  • Proverbs 28:14
  • Proverbs 29:1
  • Mark 6:48-52
  • Mark 8:16-21
  • Romans 2:4-6
  • Hebrews 3:7-19
  • Hebrews 4:12-16
  • Jeremiah 17:2-14
  • Deuteronomy 28:28-29, 43-48, 65-66
  • Psalm 12:1-8
  • Psalm 58:1-3
  • Proverbs 10:20
  • Proverbs 12:8, 20
  • Proverbs 16:5-6
  • Proverbs 18:12
  • Proverbs 21:4
  • Proverbs 26:23
  • Ecclesiastes 8:11
  • Isaiah 6:8-10
  • Numbers 32:6-7
  • Psalm 34:14-18
  • Proverbs 6:16-19
  • Romans 1:21-32
  • Proverbs 12:25
  • Proverbs 17:20
  • Proverbs 22:15
  • Proverbs 28:25
  • Psalm 101:1-8
  • Psalm 64:1-10
  • Proverbs 10:8
  • Proverbs 22:10-11
  • Ecclesiastes 10:2
  • 1 Samuel 10:9
  • 1 Samuel 15:26
  • 1 Samuel 16:6-7, 10-14

Scriptures quoted, not referenced:

  • Psalm 95
  • Revelation 2:23; 22

Transcribed: 8/19/18