“Out of the heart of man come …”
The first verse of Jeremiah 33 tells of how
“The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah … while he was still shut up in the court of the guard”
and told him of the judgments he was about to bring. They would come on
“… men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil” (verse 5).
We ponder, in a spirit of awesome anxiety what God will one day (how soon?) bring on this world for the same reason.
In Mark 7 we saw how Jesus made the very same point to his disciples. The religious leaders of that era had been teaching how a failure to observe their rituals caused defilement – this was based on their distortion and embellishment of God’s laws through Moses: this caused Jesus to tell his disciples,
“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (verses 20-23).
How great is the defilement in our world today!
Now let’s note what God further said to Jeremiah. After telling the prophet of his anger because of the evil in the hearts of the people, the Lord then gives him a view of the distant future – describing a situation with Jerusalem and his chosen people. Surely this time is almost upon us!
“Behold, I will bring … health and healing … I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel … I will cleanse … and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth” (verse 6,8,9).
This wondrous prediction “enters not the heart” of those who know not God! But how wondrous for those who truly know and believe his word! We must absorb the wonder of the words which follow.
“In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness” (verse 15).
This is Jesus and surely we are living in the time when those words are about to be fulfilled!
Do you believe? What enters your heart? The answers are shown – by what comes out of it.