The Bare Soul - February 8, 2009
Curing the Diseased Heart

Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

"Despite dramatic medical advances over the past 50 years, heart disease remains a leading cause of death globally and the Number 1 cause of death in the United States," so states America.gov. No one should really marvel at this reality (especially in America) given our sedentary and often lethargic lifestyles toward diet and exercise. It is quite easy to take for granted the organ within us all that pumps blood and gives life to us moment by moment. We can ignore this amazing "pound of flesh" that the Lord God has put within each and every one of us, yet it continues to beat and pump the life-giving fluid throughout our bodies irrespective of our awareness to this fact. Oftentimes, it can be a case of "out of sight, out of mind" regarding the health of this marvelous muscle. Even as we unconsciously take breath after breath that supplies oxygen to our blood which then courses through veins and arteries, even so we seldom are cognizant of our beating heart. All to often, the only true exercise the heart gets is trying to recover from the lack of oxygen due to inactivity, or the over-indulgence of foods that make our hearts work in an inordinate manner. It's no wonder that America and much of the world suffers from diseased hearts more than any other malady, leading to eventual pre-mature death.

As we've discussed before, what is true in the physical is generally a visual manifestation of a spiritual counterpart that is oftentimes unseen. The spiritual underbelly of the heart disease epidemic is a plague of "spiritual" heart disease unparalleled since the creation of humankind.  Just as today we are plagued by the highest instances of heart disease in human history, likewise the wholesale spiritual condition of collective humankind has never been more dire. While violent crime is down in many U.S. cities, it is on the rise in many parts of the world. Human trafficking is at an all time high. According to a 2005 national study made available to the American Bar Association ... An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year, and approximately 80% of trafficking victims are women and girls. Many of these young girls are forced into prostitution as young as five years old. This is just one example regarding the condition of the world's heart-at-large and its capability to think and do evil. It is merely symptomatic of a much deeper and sinister evil.

One might say,  "That is awful. I could never condone this type of evil and I believe it to be abhorrent!" However, to be human is to share in the sin of all flesh. Jeremiah is not stating an opinion or an assumption regarding the heart of man in the opening verse. Rather, he has identified himself so intimately with his Lord as a "seer" of the Most High that he knows and understands the comparison between God's heart and that of his people. The prophet understood that the human heart is sick and diseased, being in a state of "living death" and without hope outside of redemption. Later, in Jeremiah 32:35 the prophet relates that God could not even imagine or had it even come into His mind that His children could do the sin and abomination that they invented. For truly as God is the God of creation, the god of this world and the sin that he works through in the heart of humans is a "creative destruction" that only he could conceive. Beloved, there is no hope for any of us outside of a Savior that desires and yearns to do the miraculous within each and every one of us. For every soul that is unredeemed possesses a heart that is corrupt and vile and capable of every evil intent that has been germinated in earth and under the earth since the beginning of time. (If you balk at the thought of owning the sin of all humankind as an unredeemed soul, mention that to those "respectable" women of Jerusalem when you get to eternity who resorted to eating their own children during the siege by the Babylonians [see Lamentations 4:10]).

Jeremiah ends his poignant verse regarding the heart of man with a question for us all to contemplate: Who can understand it? Throughout the millennia, humans have attempted to medicate the spiritual heart of man with a variety of cures. Philosophers, such as Diogenes have sought with failure to find a truly upright man to validate the goodness of humankind. Psychologists and psychiatrists have often tried to place the blame of evil outside of human responsibility thereby relieving a person's culpability. However, the Word of God is clear to point out that humans are the reason sin exists and that we OWN sin through the sin natures given to us from the original transgressors. Our Adamic natures, inherited from the Fall of humankind, is endemic of every sin committed and yet to be committed. Without redemption, our hearts are desperately ill and in need of a new life giving source. Only when Jesus Christ, the Great Surgeon gives us His heart by the miraculous transplant of His life into ours, only then can we truly begin to live anew. There is no true life outside of Him, for He is the Life-giver (Colossians 1:16). To accept His free gift of salvation is to accept His heart that is free from sin. Only then, can we truly be healed of a diseased heart while telling others of His marvelous cure!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

 

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