Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2013 Jeremiah 17:9

Jeremiah 17:9.   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?
 
Oh Friends, morning is breaking, just like all those other mornings of the past! And to sweeten matters, God’s daily blessings are also being prepared anew – no stale stuff – as has been done each and every day, right down through the ages. So our daily bread is on its way, accompanied by new mercy and forgiveness. What an awesome package that is my people!
 
And all God’s children declared a loud, joyous and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord for Your overwhelming generosity and LOVING-kindness! We LOVE You Lord, and praise Your Holy Name! Please help us to continue serving and worshipping You with fullness of hearts, souls, bodies and minds. Amen.’ 
 
Yes my Friends, our God is ever-faithful and generous to us, although we don’t deserve it. But that’s just the kind of Deity He is; that’s just the kind of heart He possesses. The problem though is that our honesty and faithfulness cannot be guaranteed. For as our Bit so wisely declares: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?’
 
And the answer to that rather imposing question my brethren, is ONLY Jehovah God!
 
That’s because our hearts are naturally inclined to deceit and selfishness. It can get so bad, that at times we even fool ourselves, thinking that we have such wonderful and upright hearts, only to later discover the true wickedness buried deep in them.
 
Cousin Sol, in describing a worthless and wicked man, said it a long time ago. ‘Frowardness (perversity) is in his heart, he deviseth mischief (evil) continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.’ (Prov.6:14-15)
 
And sadly Friends, that’s a rather apt and appropriate description of a great number of humans on God’s great earth, including many so-called believers. No wonder our world is in the sorry state it’s in!
 
Jesus Himself, on the subject of good and corrupt fruit, had this to say re our hearts. ‘O generation (brood, offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35)
 
And if anybody should know about that sort of thing, it’s certainly Jesus!
 
Then later on, in explaining what defiles, Jesus says: ‘That which cometh out of the man defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness (licentiousness), an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.’ (Mark 7:20-23)
 
Ah mih people, I guess Jesus condemns us all right there, since we all are guilty of at least one or more of those misdeed, and they all stem from what’s happening down in the depths of our souls.
 
Now listen to the scholars: ‘Many apparently thought that the food itself forbidden by parts of the Old Testament (see, e.g. Lev.11) rendered the eater unclean. Jesus is not challenging the accuracy of the Old Testament. He is pointing out that what one produces from, not what he takes into, himself is the essence of the human sin.
 
In context, Jesus is pointing out the futility of seeking spiritual salvation by means of ritual observances, like dietary laws, which are incapable of purifying the heart (i.e., the moral life) A clean heart is something different from a properly cared for digestive tract.’
 
And while declaring that all things come to the righteous and to the wicked, the Preacher imparts this bit of wisdom. ‘This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.’ (Eccl. 9:3)
 
But why is the heart so maligned eh? That’s partly because as the scholars explain: ‘Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.
 
The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life. The heart is the seat of intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself.
 
The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defiling them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12). Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First ref. Gen.6:5; Primary ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15) 
 
Please note that I’ve quoted several of the references the scholars gave us, so you shouldn’t have any problems reading the rest. (smile) Remember though that the references are for our benefit; to help us better understand the scriptures.
 
And we’ll end with this rather appropriate reference from Cousin Sol. ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 
 
Yes Friends, it all begins in the heart and the mind, and then spreads like wildfire after that! So to avoid all the evil and ungodly things that we can become involved in to our detriment, we need to guard our thinking and emotions very carefully, otherwise we’ll certainly get caught up in plenty calamity.
 
And that definitely doesn’t smack of that most worthwhile attribute called wisdom. So let’s consider ourselves warned. Much LOVE!.
 
..to him that hath ears…let him hear…or else he’ll pay an exorbitant price for his disobedience…