Therefore, just as the Holy SPIRIT says,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME,
AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED ME BY TESTING ME,
AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.
“THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION,
AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'”
When we read about lethal heart conditions in The WORD of GOD, most of us thinks HE’s talking about the unbeliever. But please realize that HIS WORD was written for us (Rom 15:4), HIS followers. That is why we must ask HIM specifically what is HIS WORD is addressing in our own lives.
In this study we will look at men who heard HIS words, and experienced HIS miracles; yet their hardened hearts kept them from understanding the miracles and intimately knowing The Miracle WORKER. We will look at a warrior, a king and 9 lepers. Let’s start by reading about them in HIS Holy WORD:
The warrior – Judges 6:1-16, Judges 7:1-25, Judges 8:22-27
The King – 2 Chronicles 14:1-15, 2 Chronicles 16:1-9
9 lepers – Luke 17:11-19
In all the aforementioned Scriptures the following similarities exist:
Our Beloved LORD GOD moved miraculously on behalf of the warrior, the king and the 9 lepers.
The warrior Gideon, King Asa, and the nine Lepers all had hardened or insensitive hearts, and therefore did not:
perceive (mentally grasp the miracles our GOD performed)
With 300 men and no weapons (Jud 8:16-22) HE put to flight two armies too numerous to count (Jud 6:3-5)
With an army a little over half a million, our Beloved LORD GOD defeated an army of one million men and three hundred chariots (2 Chr 14:8-15)
Stepping out in faith, to follow the instructions by our Precious LORD JESUS, brought cleansing of leprosy (Luk 17:11-15)
understand (to have insight into; to know the meaning of; to totally get it)
The warrior Gideon did not understand his calling. He had been called as a warrior (Jud 6:12-16) but thought himself a minister (Jud 8:22-27, 1 Sam 2:28); thus creating a snare for himself and his household, and an idol for the nation (Jud 8:27).
King Asa did not understand that his victories came through reliance upon and trust in our Beloved LORD GOD (2 Chr chptrs 14-16).
Nine of the ten lepers did not understand their cleansing came by faith in JESUS not in the pronunciation of cleansing by the priest (Luk 17:12-14, Mat 8:1-4, Lev 14:1-2).
remember (to keep in mind; to be careful not to forget; to maintain a memory of HIS moving on their behalf)
The warrior Gideon did not remember that he spoke to The LORD GOD directly (Jud 6:36-40), he did not need an ephod to inquire of HIM (1 Sam 30:7).
King Asa did not remember trusting in and relying upon The LORD only is what brought peace to his kingdom and deliverance from his enemies (2 Chr 14:2-7, 2 Chr 16:7-9)
Nine of the ten leper did not remember it was from JESUS HIMSELF their cleansing had come (Luk 17:17-18)
How can you know for certain that the warrior Gideon, King Asa, and the nine Lepers had hardened hearts? The conditions of a hardened heart are describe by our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST in Mark 8:17-21
And JESUS, aware of this, said to them
Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread?
Do you not yet see or understand?
Do you have a hardened heart?
HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR?
And do you not remember when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?
They said to Him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?”
And they said to Him, “Seven.”
And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
A hardened heart is a mind that is unable to see, understand/perceive, hear or even remember what The LORD has done; and as a result it is a mind like those of the Israelites in the opening Scripture (Heb 3:7-11); it always goes astray from GOD and HIS WORD. It is a heart that does not know HIM or HIS ways. It is a mind that relates more to the natural than the supernatural. For example, how many times have you heard a message from The WORD of GOD that moved your heart at the time of hearing it, but never got a hold of it to the point that you immediately began to apply it to your life? In fact you soon forgot what moved you so in the message?
Are there other examples in The BIBLE of people with hardened hearts? Yes here’s three more found in Ezekiel 33:30-32, Matthew 7:26-27, and Matthew 13:18-22.
Is there a cure for a harden heart? Yes, if you treasure GOD and HIS WORD in your heart (Psa 119:11) by pondering (Luk 2:19), reflecting on (Psa 63:6-8, Psa 103:2, 1 Cor 11:23-26) mediating on (Psa 77:12, Psa 119:48) and obeying (Psa 40:8, Jam 1:25).