Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
Notice in Mark 3:5 ( above ) that Jesus was
grieved at the hardness of the Jews hearts.
Since Jesus clearly is focused upon our hearts we should ask, “What
is the condition of my heart in His eyes?” Seriously, what is the
condition of your heart? Obviously I am not referring to the
physical organ in the center of our chest; instead, I am referring to
the very core of our being. We have learned in earlier studies that
our ( Biblical ) heart is actually the combination ( joining together ) of
our human spirit and our soul ( Observe the image below. If you
would like to see an additional study regarding our human make-up,
from a Biblical perspective, you can obtain an Internet copy of the
Bible Study entitled, “Spirit, Soul and Body” from the following
address http://www.Rivkah.org . )
From a biblical
perspective, our
heart is made up
of the
combination of
our born-again
spirit and our
mind, “I pray
God your whole
spirit and soul
and body be
preserved
blameless unto the coming of our Lord” (1
Thess 5:23). That core which is composed of soul and spirit is so closely
correlated that only the word of God can separate the two interrelated
aspects, “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and
spirit , and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts
and intents of the heart ” (Heb 4:12).
Notice how the Bible portrayed the hearts of the people that lived during the
time of Noah, “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his
heart was only evil continually ” (Gen 6:5)!
We tend to group “sinners” into the same category as
those people who lived before the flood; we view them as individuals having their
hearts hardened! Is hard heartedness a condition exclusive of “sinners?” Before we
answer, we better honestly assess the condition of our own hearts! Ask yourself the
question, “What is the sensitivity of my own heart towards God?” In this Bible
Study we are going to investigate a Biblical pattern through which we may honestly
learn to assess the condition of our own hearts.
Let me start by making it absolutely clear that in order to avoid a hard heart we must avoid
sin, “exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened
through the deceitfulness of sin ” (Heb 3:13). We must live holy lives! Now don’t get off
track; part of the good news of the gospel is that whether we live holy or unholy, God’s
love toward us remains exactly the same . However, Living holy will definitely change
the sensitivity of our heart towards God. Our holiness does not change God’s heart toward
us; but our holiness will definitely change our hearts toward God! Realize this, an unholy
life ( violating our conscious ) will absolutely harden our hearts toward God! Yes, we have
been forgiven of all of our sins; nevertheless, sin naturally hardens our hearts! Notice how
sin and a hard heart are associated with Pharaoh who “saw that the rain and the hail and the
thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart (Ex 9:34). Obviously,
it is important for us to live a godly and holy life in order to maintain a pliable heart!
Further, we must realize that unbelief is another significant aspect that influences the
condition of our hearts! If we are more dominated by our senses than we are by our
sensitivity toward God’s word, then our heart will definitely be adversely affected! We all
tend to be strong in one area of spiritual development and yet weak in another area.
The Lord called his disciples, “and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to
cure diseases” (Luke 9:1). Then He sent them out, “into every city and place, whither he
himself would come” (Luke 10:1). And, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying,
Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name” (Luke 10:17). Nevertheless, a
not long thereafter, His disciples came across a child was afflicted with a demon that they
were unable to cast out. The father of the boy described his son as follows, “he is lunatick,
and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water” (Matt 17:15).
Naturally, His disciples asked, “Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto
them, Because of your unbelief : for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of
mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall
remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you . 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but
by prayer and fasting ” (Matt 17:19-21). Most people believe that this demon was
somehow more powerful and, “ this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting ;”
however, Jesus was not focused upon the demon; He said, “ Because of your unbelief!
The issue was not a demon; it was their unbelief. Apparently, the child manifested some
kind of seizure and in the eyes of His disciples they could not cast out the demon! The
point is that this kind of unbelief does not come out but by prayer and fasting! When we
fast and pray we literally force our physical bodies to realize that our spirit is in touch with
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
child!
Now we are going to investigate another situation involving Jesus’ Apostles. One of the
goals of this lesson is to get a perspective of how we can actually test the condition of our
own hearts. Lets begin by reading the episode recorded in Mark 6: 45 “And straightway he
constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto
Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. 46 And when he had sent them away, he
departed into a mountain to pray. 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst
of the sea, and he alone on the land. 48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind
was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them,
walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking
upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and
were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good
cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind
ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 52 For
they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened . 53 And when
they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore” (Mark
6:45-53).
Now notice in v51 that the disciples, “were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure ,
and wondered. 52 For ( This word “for” is a connector word; another word that is perhaps
more meaningful is the word, “because.” ) they considered not the miracle of the loaves :
for their heart was hardened .” We would all admit that experiencing the supernatural
power of God is a wonderful blessing! For example if we went to get prayer, say for a
headache and the pain immediately vanished, we would naturally get excited! However, if
we get more amazed or influenced by witnessing the supernatural than the natural, it means
that we actually have a hardened heart ( towards God )! We are going to explore the
veracity of this statement throughout this study!
Let us consider more closely the actual “hardened heart” circumstance that Jesus Himself
referenced out of the passage that we have just read. When Jesus took the loaves and
blessed the bread during the feeding of the five thousand ( Perhaps as many as 15,000 when
we count women and children as well. ), do you think that Jesus was “sore amazed” when
He broke the five loaves of bread and suddenly the original loaf had somehow been
restored? Do you think that he was “sore amazed” and said to Himself, “Whoa! It actually
worked!” Further, Jesus gave the disciples and they fed the people. Realize that he
disciples did not each pull a wagonload of bread and fish that Jesus had personally loaded
up for the people; instead they each carried a basket and the bread and the fishes were
literally multiplied in the hands of the disciples! They did not consider this miracle!
They had more left over after everyone had eaten; they took up 12 baskets full of food!
This means that they took up as much as they all started out with in the first place! They
should have realized that anybody who can feed 15,000 people and end up with the original
would have no problem walking on water! Instead, they did not consider and the result was
that their hearts were hardened!
some unknown sense to the human body, “For we walk by
faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7)! The disciples’ hearts were
hardened because of what theys observed in the afflicted
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
The issue is that we probably need to redefine a hardened
heart! In fact, we don’t give enough credence to the
possibility that we ourselves may possess a hardened heart!
Jesus was not sore amazed! On the contrary, He would have been “sore amazed” if the
bread had not multiplied!
We are going to review just a few of the numerous times that the Bible describes a
hardened heart! The Bible is replete with examples of people with a hardened hearts, “the
LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened , he refuseth to let the people go” (Ex
7:14); “But when his ( Nebuchadnezzar’s ) heart was lifted up , and his mind hardened in
pride , he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him 21 And he
was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts ” (Dan 5:20-21).
We observe that a hardened heart will make us spiritually retarded! Pharaoh actually asked
Moses to pray for him, “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I
have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you . 17 Now therefore forgive, I
pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God , that he may take away
from me this death only” (Ex 10:16-17). Nevertheless, not very long thereafter he took the
great army of Egypt with the full intention of destroying Israel, “ the Egyptians pursued
after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh , and his horsemen, and his army, and
overtook them encamping by the sea” (Ex 14:9). Pharaoh himself witnessed the great
miracle of the pillar of fire that produced darkness unto the Egyptians and light to the
children of Israel; nevertheless, he was not moved, “And the angel of God, which went
before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went
from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 And it came between the camp of the
Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave
light by night to these : so that the one came not near the other all the night” (Ex 14:19-20).
Pharaoh was so hardened that even in the midst of this miracle, he decided to attack Israel!
He was spiritually retarded! The problems of the Egyptians did not end there, “the children
of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall
unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in
after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the
Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily : so that the Egyptians
said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the
Egyptians ” (Ex 14:22-25). Finally, one of the Egyptians with a lightning fast mind said,
“let us flee for God is fighting for Israel!” It is utterly amazing that only after their wheels
came off of their chariots that the Egyptians decided to flee! Prior to this they had
experienced countless plagues and miracles; nevertheless, their heart was hardened!
We must understand that anybody can be vulnerable to a hardened heart! Notice in the
story of the rebellion of Korah who murmured and rebelled against Moses. Moses told
those rebels, “if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow
them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye
shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. 31 And it came to pass, as he
had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under
them: 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their
goods” (Num 16:30-32). Nevertheless, “ on the morrow all
the congregation of the children of Israel murmured
against Moses and against Aaron ” (Num 16:41). Clearly, the hearts of the children of
Israel were hardened!
Are there other examples of hardness of heart in the New Testament? Notice Mark chapter
eight; the disciples had already witnessed the feeding of 5,000 in Mark chapter six with
only five loaves and two small fishes. Nevertheless, here in Mark chapter eight the
disciples were in a situation involving less people ( only 4,000 people this time; and, they
had more food (7 loaves of bread))! You would expect that the disciples would have been
quick to say, “This is going to be easy; if we can feed 5,000 people with five loaves,
feeding 4,000 with seven loaves will be a snap.”
We can understand the narrative better when we realize that Jesus was actually trying to get
His disciples to comprehend that they too could minister food to the people, “this he said to
prove him : for he himself knew what he would do” (John 6:6). Perhaps just days earlier,
His disciples had witnessed the same kind of a miracle; instead of remembering the
miracle, notice the dialogue, “his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy
these men with bread here in the wilderness?” (Mark 8:4). His disciples acted like the first
miracle that took place only a few days before never even happened! Obviously, they had
completely forgotten the incident; or more likely, they preferred not to remember because
of the hardness of their hearts!
This whole portion of the Gospel of Mark is definitely focused upon “hard heartedness.”
As we continue with the story notice how the concept of a hard heart continues to persist in
the narrative, “And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of
Dalmanutha. 11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of
him a sign from heaven, tempting him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith,
Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be
given unto this generation. 13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to
the other side. 14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship
with them more than one loaf. 15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the
leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among
themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith
unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither
understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having
ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five
thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20
And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?
And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
(Mark 8:9-21).
Jesus was making it clear that their failure to perceive was the result of a hardened heart.
When we become sensitive to God, all we need to receive from God is the slightest word.
But, when we are hardhearted God practically has to hit us over the head before we realize
that He has been speaking to us! In fact, God is always speaking to us; our problem is that
we need our hearts softened in order to hear form Him.
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
Now understand this, our hearts are exactly the way that
we ourselves have fashioned them up to this point in our
lives! That is why the scripture teaches, “For as he
thinketh in his heart, so is he ” (Prov 23:7). Our heart is the result of our own thinking! If
we are having difficulty hearing from God, that condition is the result our own thinking! In
order to hear from God we need to soften our hearts. We need to realize that in the past we
have been the architects of our own hearts. The good news is that we can change our
hearts !
Nobody is totally sensitive to God and nobody is totally insensitive to Him. We have read
earlier where Jesus said, “ perceive ye not yet, neither understand? ” The point is that our
understanding is the principle thing, “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and
understandeth it not , then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was
sown in his heart ” (Matt 13:19). Once we begin to understand, we can begin to change!
Christians hear truths of God but if they have no understanding it is useless to them! I used
to work with technology; nevertheless, when the communication engineers would start
talking about network routers working improperly because of a split horizon that meant
absolutely nothing to me because I had no understanding.
Notice the point that Jesus was making in verse, “Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears,
hear ye not?” He was referencing the fact that God gave humanity a lot more than the five
senses! We have a sixth sense. Obviously, this sixth sense is the ability to hear God by
faith!
Jesus said in verse 18, “and do ye not remember ?” In order for us to be successful we must
have the ability to recall when God moved on our behalf in the past! However,
remembering is not a matter of the physical brain retrieving information; instead the human
heart is the key element that influences our memory! My mother used to claim that her
sons had “selective hearing.”
Sports fans have no problem remembering the precise statistics of their favorite team. The
true sports fan will always know exactly where his team sits in the rankings. He knows
where they stand in defense and offense; and, how many games his team is ahead of their
chief rival. It follows that he also is quite aware of the record of each of the opposing
teams in that division! The reason that the American sports fan remembers all of these
things is because his heart has been set upon his team! There is nothing wrong with the
human brain. Our physical brain will remember whatever our heart has been set upon; and,
it will have difficulty remembering those things that are not a matter of the heart!
You probably were not counting; however, we have observed four specific characteristics
of a hardened heart: (1) not perceiving spiritual truth; (2) a lack of understanding; (3) the
inability to hear God’s voice; and (4) the lack of spiritual memory. Each of these
characteristics can be observed in one small passage after the feeding of the multitude:
“And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread?
perceive ye not yet, neither understand ? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes,
see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not ? and do ye not remember ?” (Mark 8:17-18).
I was taking a nap at my wife’s childhood home in Trinidad, Colorado, and a train came by
and practically rattled me out of the bed! I wondered how anybody could have ever grown
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
up in that house. However, she does not remember the
train being a problem for her family. Essentially, they
hardened themselves to the sound of the train. We humans
have the natural ability to harden our hearts to whatever we choose. The human brain has a
corticothalamic-retucular arousal loop located in the frontal lobe; this part of the brain is
most involved in directing and controlling mental processes such as attention. This same
system of the brain locks out what it does not want to process! This system in the brain
allows soldiers during wartime conditions to be able to sleep through an incoming artillery
barrage. This system in the brain allows a mother to sleep with the television blaring;
nevertheless, if her baby cries she will immediately hear and respond!
God never intended for us to be unable to hear his voice! However, the devil taught us
while we were in the flesh to shut-off and callous over our hearts so that we would not be
able to hear from God! Through this process we naturally hardened our hearts towards
God! The devil is the original source of the hardness in our hearts! The good news is that
we can turn this condition around! It is abnormal for us to be unable to hear from God!
Jesus said, “ My sheep hear my voice , and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
Before we can receive the antidote we must recognize how serious this abnormal condition
of a hardened heart really is! God never intended for us to be unable to hear from Him!
The fact is that whatever we focus our heart upon, that thing will become meaningful to us,
“For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened ” (Mark
6:52). They did not consider the information that they had, “He saith unto them, How
many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes”
(Mark 6:38). Even with Jesus specifically asking them about the loaves, they still did not
consider the matter. God made us so that whatever our dominant thoughts are focused
upon, we will remember those things. Those things will also tend to control us. For
example, the adulterer had focused his thoughts on illicit sex; the alcoholic had focused his
thoughts on his next drink; and the addict had his focus upon his next fix. God made us
this way for a specific purpose! Likewise, God made us so that we could block out
whatever we do not choose or even desire deep down to remember! That is why some
people hear a message and their life is literally changed while others fall asleep! The only
difference between those two is the condition of their hearts! Notice that Abraham ( the
father of the faithful ) blotted out certain negative aspects, “being not weak in faith, he
considered not his own body now dead , when he was about an hundred years old, neither
yet the deadness of Sara's womb ” (Rom 4:19).
When our belief in God’s word affects us more than any outward conditions of the world,
the devil will be utterly unable to make us believe that we are sick! On the other hand,
every time that we violate our conscious, we have just added a tiny little layer between God
and us. The tiny layer never changes God’s attitude toward us one bit; however, it
definitely does affect our attitude toward God!
We have already studied how that Jesus’ disciples “ considered not the miracle of the
loaves.” Now as we resume with the sixth chapter of Mark, we will recall that they had
just fed the five thousand, “And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand
men” (Mark 6:44). Now continuing with the passage notice exactly what happened next,
“45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship , and to go to the
other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. 46 And when he had sent
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. 47 And
when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea,
and he alone on the land. 48 And he saw them toiling in
rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them : and about the fourth watch of the night he
cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them . 49 But when
they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50
For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith
unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the
ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and
wondered . 52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was
hardened ” ((Mark 6:45-52).
When we carefully look at this passage we first need to appreciate the concept that Jesus
literally forced His disciples, “he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to
the other side.” Jesus actually ordered or obligated His disciples to get into the boat! At
this point we must remember that several of them were fishermen; this means that they
naturally were sensitized to the fact that the weather was about to change and that the sea
was going to get rough! This is the reason that He had to “ constrain ” His disciples to get
into the boat. They understood that the situation had the potential to get dangerous!
When the storm came they did everything that they could think of to survive! Because they
were so focused upon survival they totally forgot about the feeding of the five thousand.
They did not realize that Jesus had told them to “get into the ship, and to go to the other
side .” He did not tell them to get into the ship, go half way across the sea and then sink! If
they had been thinking spiritually they could have said, “Wait a minute guys, Jesus said,
‘get into the ship, and to go to the other side .’ This means that we have a word from God
that we can do what He said!” We can glean a good lesson from this experience and relate
it to the various storms that we may face: during any storm cling to His word!
Their preoccupation with survival kept them from really having a sensitive heart towards
God! When we are totally preoccupied with daily living we naturally desensitize ourselves
to hearing from God, “Therefore take no thought, saying , What shall we eat? or, What
shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? ( This is just a side note: However, did
you observe in that passage how we humans take a thought? ) 32( For after all these things
do the Gentiles ( unbelievers ) seek :) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of
all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matt
6:31-33). Instead of being preoccupied we can focus our thoughts, “For though we walk in
the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down
imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and
bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ ” (2 Cor 10:3-5). Paul
said, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things ” (Phil 4:8); “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he ” (Prov 23:7).
On the other hand, when we are not focused upon God we become desensitized to His
voice.
Written by M. Larry Perrino
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2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
Christians are not necessarily doing evil things! However,
when we spend a great deal of time on things that do not
build us up, we are in one way or another hardening our
hearts. If we spend lots of time watching television, that is not necessarily evil; the
problem is that we always are working on our hearts, and since television is worldly we are
developing a worldly heart!
Consider the fact that Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). He would
never have given us a command that we are unable to carry out. Therefore, if our hearts
are ever troubled, that heart condition is a result of our own making!
Whatever we focus our hearts upon is exactly what will come out of us! We are each
individually responsible for the present condition of our own hearts! Our heart gravitates
toward the direction of our dominant thoughts. If our dominant thoughts are on sports or
economics, or politics, or making a living, or whatever, our hearts will focus upon those
things. When we are overly focused upon any of those things, the net result is that our
heart will naturally harden towards God.
We cannot be fluent in sports, politics, television programming and then be able to
supernaturally hear from God! Notice what the Bible teaches us about Abraham and
Sarah, “And truly, if they had been mindful ( If their mind had been full! ) of that country
from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned” (Heb
11:15). Notice that their mind would have been full of the idea going back to Babylon!
We cannot be tempted by something that we do not spend time thinking about! We can go
nowhere that we have not already experienced in our minds, “as he thinketh in his heart, so
is he” (Prov 23:7). This means that whatever dominates our thoughts will be the very thing
that comes out of us in the future!
This society teaches ( focuses our attention ) upon the following things: self-gratification;
acquisition of possessions; sexual gratification; medicinal enhancement; economic
survival; materialism etc. When we expose ourselves and begin to focus upon these things
we harden our hearts towards God! Instead of accepting these things we must reject them!
For example the commercial that the flu season is about to arrive!
The only way that we can change things in our future is to prepare our hearts today!
Obviously, we must not allow our hearts to be hardened towards God!
Notice what Solomon wrote, “He that hath a froward heart findeth no good : and he that
hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief” (Prov 17:20). The NIV renders this passage
as follows: “A man of perverse heart does not prosper” (Prov 17:20). Just a few verses
later the NIV once again says, “A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against
the LORD ” (Prov 19:3). A crooked heart will destroy our soul! Man’s ways are crooked
and God’s ways are straight. The word crooked in Hebrew means to bend. If you have not
yet read the Rivkah Ministries , Bible Study entitled, “ Evil, Where did it come from? ” and
you would like to know more about the crooked way, you can obtain a copy of the study
and from Http://www.Rivkah.org .
The point is that we live out of our hearts! Therefore, we must allow only the word of God
influence us! Notice Proverbs 27:19, “As in water face reflects face , So a man's heart
reveals the man ” (Prov 27:19). We can look into our own hearts just like we can see our
Written by M. Larry Perrino
9
2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries
Hardness of Heart
Jesus noted the Jews and “looked round about on them with anger,
being grieved for the hardness of their hearts ”(Mark 3:5) …..
face in water! Only by closely looking at yourself can you
see and change your heart! Proverbs teaches, “For as he
thinketh in his heart, so is he ” (Prov 23:7). This means
that we can change our lives by changing the things that we allow ourselves to think about!
Finally look at this truth, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a
good man shall be satisfied from himself ” (Prov 14:14). This means that we can achieve
satisfaction as a result of a pure heart. We live out of our hearts, “ Keep (guard or protect)
thy heart with all diligence ; for out of it are the issues of life ” (Prov 4:23)! In order to
guard our heart with all diligence, it means that our first priority is to properly watch over
those things upon which we allow in our thoughts! “To day if ye will hear his voice, 8
Harden not your hearts ” (Heb 3:7-8).
This week we have focused upon the major thing that inhibits us from hearing from the
Holy Spirit of God; next time we will take a closer look at the most important aspect of
hearing from Him!
Written by M. Larry Perrino
10
2/27/2008
2004 by Rivkah Ministries