Date written: October 22nd, 2003
Scripture ref: 1 Samuel 16:7
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at two kinds of hearts, 1) The hard heart, and 2) The Soft heart.
OBJECTIVES: Each should understand the two hearts, their relationship to God and his word, and which kind everyone should desire to have.
AIM: To encourage everyone to have the kind of heart that God wants us to have.
1. Read: 1 Samuel 16:7 "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."
2. About the Text:
1) The Israelites selection of a Saul as a king had ended in utter spiritual failure.
2) God had rejected Saul from being king over Israel.
3) God turned his attention to Samuel to have him anoint a new king.
4) God sent Samuel to Jesse's house.
5) Jesse brought out his oldest sons and Samuel thought that surely one of these would be king.
6) In response to Samuel God made the statement in our text today.
3. The Bible heart.
1) When the Bible speaks regarding the heart, it is not talking about the blood pump.
2) Today, the word "heart" used in a metaphorical sense is speaking about emotions.
3) Many set up a contrast between the mind and the heart.
4) You often hear people say, "Go with your heart" meaning, "Trust your feelings."
5) This usage is not what the Bible means when it uses the word "heart."
6) The Bible speaks of the heart as
a. Imagining (Gen.6:5)
b. Thinking (Gen.17:17)
c. Willing (Exodus 35:5)
d. Containing wisdom (Exodus 36:2)
e. Seeking (Deut.4:29)
f. Considering (Deut.4:39)
g. Loving (Deut.10:12)
h. Fear (Deut.28:67)
i. Grieved (1 Sam.1:8)
j. Desire (2 Sam.3:21)
k. Pray (2 Sam.7:27)
l. Courage (2 Sam.17:10)
m. Guilt (2 Sam.24:10)
n. Humility (2 Kings 22:19)
o. Pride (2 Chronicles 26:16)
p. Prepared (Ezra 7:10)
q. Faithful (Neh.9:8)
r. Uprightness (Job 33:3)
s. Gladness (Psa.4:7)
t. Broken and Contrite (Psalm 34:18)
u. Trusts (Pro.3:5, 6)
7) It has been said there are four chambers in the Bible heart.
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
I. The Hard Heart
1. Is a Stubborn heart
1) Pharoah -- Exodus 7 - 14
2) Children of Israel coming out of Egypt -- Psalm 78:8 "And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God."
3) Israelites during the period of the Judges -- Judges 2:19 "And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way."
4) The stubborn heart is the heart that refuses to listen to God.
2. Is a stiffnecked heart
1) This is just another description of being stubborn but more intense.
2) The picture is of someone who will not even turn around to look if he is going in the wrong direction.
3) Exodus 32:9 "And Jehovah said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:"
4) Must cut off the hardness on the outside of our heart. Deut.10:16 "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked."
5) Acts 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye."
6) Stiffnecked goes beyond not listening to God in that there is a visible resistance to God's will.
3. Is an impenetrable heart
1) This kind of heart does not allow anything to come in. That's what the word "hard" means.
2) Comparable to Luke 8:12 "Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." The word doesn't even get in.
3) The Jewish leaders had this kind of heart. Acts 5:33 "When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them."
4) Those who stoned Stephen had this heart. Acts 7:54 "When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth."
4. Is a heart that is difficult to break
1) When something is difficult to break it takes a lot of effort and struggle and is usually painful.
a. Like breaking a horse.
b. Or breaking a big rock with a sledge hammer.
2) Pride plays a role in making our hearts difficult to break. "But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:" Daniel 5:20
3) When we are not looking to understand that makes our heart difficult to break. Context that of disciples being warned of the leaven of the Pharisees. Mark 8:17 "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?"
4) When we do not WANT to understand. John 12:37, 40 " But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: . . . He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."
II. The Soft Heart
1) This means we are willing to listen to God with a view towards obedience.
2) Matthew 7:24-27 Wise and foolish men.
3) James 1:22-25 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
4) James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
5) Hebrews 5:7-9 "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"
2. Maleable and Moldable
1) We are willing to be changed under the hand of God.
2) Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
3) Eph.2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
4) Exhortation softens our heart. "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
1) This means that we will allow God's word to live in our heart.
2) Notice the hearts of Acts 2:37 "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
3) Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
4) Col.3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;"
5) 1 John 2:5, 6 "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
4. Easy to break
1) This means that we let God control.
2) David's prayer. Psalm 51:1-19
3) Luke 22:42 "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."
4) 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."
5) When we have this attitude, then it will be easy for God to break our hearts.
1. What kind of heart do we have?
d. Difficult to break?
d. Easy to Break?
1) If you are a Christian but have fallen away
a. You have made a choice.
b. Do not harden your heart to God's word.
2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. Soften your heart to the gospel of Christ.
b. Heed the plan that it has for man's salvation today!
a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 "Faith comes by hearing . . ."
b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 "For without faith it is impossible . . . ."
c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt.16:16).
e) Be baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).