The two hearts of man

Published 8:54 am Friday, June 2, 2023

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One goal of the Bible is to instruct and encourage everyone to have the kind of heart that God wants us to have. Having a proper heart involves our attitudes as people. As we consider the hearts of men, we should know that there are two kinds of hearts. The Bible describes the first kind of heart as a “hard heart” and the second is a heart that is soft and pliable. The type of heart that a person has greatly reveals their relationship with God.
Concerning the heart of man and how God feels about our hearts we read in 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
The Bible reveals that the Israelites had previously selected Saul as their king. His kingship ended in utter spiritual failure. Because of the heart and the actions of Saul, God had rejected him from being king over Israel. It was then that God directed his prophet, Samuel, to anoint a new king. In his mission, God had sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to select one of his sons to be the new king of Israel. The Bible states that Jesse brought out his oldest sons and Samuel thought that one of these would be king. This is when God made the statement in 1 Samuel 16:7. Eventually, David the son of Jesse, was chosen by God to serve as the new king of the Israelites. While he was not perfect, David had one thing that was imperative, he was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
The subject of the statement is the Biblical heart. This is not the blood pump that is within the body of man. Rather the heart in question is the metaphorical heart that deals with the educated mind and the emotions of man. People often say, “Go with your heart.” The meaning in this statement is to “Trust your feelings.” To trust our feelings can be a safe bet only if the mind of mankind is properly trained. The Bible speaks of the heart as: Imagining (Gen. 6:5), Thinking (Gen. 17:17), Willing (Exodus 35:5), Having Wisdom (Exodus 36:2), Seeking (Deut. 4:29), Loving (Deut. 10:12), Fear (Deut. 28:67), Grieving (1 Sam.1:8), Praying (2 Sam. 7:27), having Courage (2 Sam.17:10), being Guilty (2 Sam. 24:10), being Humble (2 Kings 22:19), being Prideful (2 Chronicles 26:16), being Faithful (Neh. 9:8), being Upright (Job 33:3), Broken and Contrite (Psalm 34:18), Trusting (Pro.3:5, 6) and in many other ways.
There is no doubt that the spiritual heart of man considers his Intellect, Will, Emotion, and Conscience. These four factors and the state they are in determine whether a person has a hard or soft spiritual heart. One example we find in the Bible is the heart of Pharaoh (Exodus 7 – 14). His heart was hard or stubborn, which is proven by the fact that he was unwilling to listen to God. There were several times when Israel became a nation of stubbornness (Hard Heartedness). This was the condition of many Jews in the days of Jesus (Acts 7:51). People with hardened hearts not only refuse to listen to God they physically resist God.
To the contrary, the soft heart is one that is: Submissive to God willing to hear Him (Matthew 7:24-27, James 4:7). The soft heart is one that is Moldable (Isaiah 64:8), Penetrable or that is one that will allow God’s word to live in our heart (Psalm 119:11), Controllable such as the heart of Jesus as seen in Luke 22:42. To have a heart that is pleasing to God and able to produce good fruit we must have the heart of Jesus in John 5:30, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
When we have this type of heart it is then that God can mold us and make us what He wants us to be. If you are a Christian but have fallen away, you have made a choice. Please do not allow your heart to continue to harden, Repent and return to your first love (God). If you are not a Christian, why not today soften your heart to the Gospel of Christ and become a child of His. You can do so by Hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), Believing in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), Repenting of your sins (Acts 2:38), Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt. 16:16), and be baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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