Tag Archives: heart

Prophets, Prophecy and God’s Heart – Happy Hearts Day

30b26-heart_clip_art_012b12b2You’ve gotta love Numbers Chapter 11! the people of Exodus were again complaining. Even Moses got irritated with having to deal with it again yet another time.

I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. Numbers 11:14

God did an amazing thing. He told Moses to gather 70 men and he gave them spirit.

And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. Numbers 11:25 

These men were set around the tabernacle. Two men,  Eldad and Medad,  however, were reported to have been prophesying in the camp. Imagine that! As human nature would have it a young man asked Moses to forbid them to do so! Moses had a great response:

And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! Numbers 27-29

God’s heart was to be able to talk to every believer. In this record we have a small porthole to see what would happen eventually on the Day of Pentecost that is recorded in the book of Acts. On that day 12 men spoke in tongues as evidence of the gift of holy spirit they received. But the day did not end with just the 12 receiving the gift of holy spirit:

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:38-41

God calls to us today to receive His gift. This gift should not lift our hearts above others as if we are specially endowed, or more spiritual than anyone else. It is a gift to lift others up to enjoy the same privileges and comfort in every recess of our inner heart.

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Did God Harden Pharaoh’s Heart?

The same sun that melts wax, hardens clay (Origen On First Principles 3.1.11)

Have you ever dealt with a difficult person and have had to finally come to the realization that no matter what you did or said to them, they would always be difficult? Some hearts are like big boulders, impossible to move. They would sooner roll over you than listen to something contrary to their way of thinking.

This morning I got up and read some posts from some of my blogging friends. I am so thankful to have met some wonderful people who ask God questions when they read the Word. It seems that Moses was always asking God questions. This could not be said about Pharaoh, even after he saw miracle after miracle in his interactions with Moses when Israel needed to leave Egypt.bible_plagues

In front of Pharaoh, Moses threw down his rod and it became a serpent. What was Pharaoh’s response? He called the magicians and they threw down their rods and they became serpents. Then Moses’ rod gobbled up their rods! Moses then turned their precious Nile into blood and the magicians did their enchantments in response. Several days later Moses multiplied frogs and so did the magicians. The next day Moses removed the frogs:

Exodus 8:9 And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?10 And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God.

Pharaoh got quite an education, was he thankful for it? Several times in Exodus, the text reads that it was God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart against letting the children of Israel go back to the country that God had promised them. In other places, it reads that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. It seems to me that God was giving Pharaoh and all who looked on an opportunity to see God, but Pharaoh was having none of it. Instead he decided for himself how he reacted. That is his problem, not God’s.

In the next episode, when lice poured in all over the land of Israel, even the magicians threw up their hands:

Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

The magicians recognized that God was involved. God is love. God doesn’t cause men to reject Him. People reject Him. Pharaoh was responsible for his own heart. There are three Hebrew words used for ‘to harden’ in this record. Putting them together it can be seen that he allowed his heart to tighten up and become severe and heavy (Link).

By our own choice, the sinews of our heart can remain tender to God because we are strengthened by the work of Jesus Christ and the presence of the holy spirit and the knowledge of His Word that has been provided.  With thankfulness, we can ask God questions and expect answers knowing that with all that we have today he loves us and certainly does not cause hardening of the heart. In today’s world, this is a great aerobic-like lesson of grace when we allow the fresh air of God to bless our lives.

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Happy ❤ Day

Job was perfect and upright and eschewed evil according to God (Job 1:1, 8, 2:2:3). A lot of challenges hit him all at once but through it all Job maintained his righteousness. (Job 27:5-6) His friends who thought they knew the why’s and wherefores became ‘miserable comforters’ as they tried to dig out sin in Job’s life. Job stayed steadfast. He was a good man(God says it 3 times in the first couple of chapters of Job) who didn’t deserve all he got, but he didn’t condemn himself. He just didn’t understand some things. There is an adversary in this world and it was him who tried to take Job out. The adversary is not named directly very many times in the Old Testament but  most of them are here in Job.

What God says about Job in 42:7-11 is very telling.

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

When adversity hits too often we condemn ourselves and that is unproductive and an impediment. Condemnation keeps us out of the throne room. God is all good and he knows our frame and that is precisely why we have a savior who came to expose destroy the works of the devil( I John 3:8). We have access to the throne room of God.

1 John 3:20-22 For if our ❤ condemn us, God is greater than our ❤, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our ❤ condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Believing is the key to pleasing God. The Message has an interesting version of Hebrews 11:6:

It’s impossible to please God apart from faith(believing). And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

Often there are  things that we don’t understand.  It is where we go first for the answers that determines the results we get. God is ready willing and able to answer us ‘liberally’, we just need to ask. How could anything be simpler! God  will direct us to the appropriate path to take. Going to God first in anything, be it finances(lessons in Genesis regarding  Joseph are the cutting edge of financial advisement), health, relationships, goals etc, insures success!

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