Proverbs 28: King James Bible
Hardened Heart – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty eight, Verse 14
14 Happy is the man that feareth always: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – Hardened Heart
The verse above sound a bit strange if you aren’t familiar with the Christian or Jewish approach to fearing the Lord. You can learn more about it in an earlier devotional called, “Fear of the Lord.”
To simplify the idea, it is similar to the attitude that a law abiding citizen has toward law enforcement, rather than a criminal’s attitude toward law enforcement. Foe someone who is saved, the Rod and staff of the Lord is a comfort, yet the same would be a terror to the wicked.
Though maintaining a healthy fear of the Lord is an extremely important thing in the realm of Christianity, it is all too easy to slip into a hardened heart, by way of neglecting the things of the Lord. That said, I believe that the verse above is not talking to sinners not yet saved by grace by way of Christ, but rather people who have already tasted the Lord, and have seen that he is good. Those of us who are saved.
A hardened heart can come from not perceiving how present and real the Father truly is. Because he isn’t in our faces all of the time, we have a tendency to fall away into the world to different degrees. That is why staying in the Word is so important. We can find example after example of people falling away from where they were elevated to by the Lord, by a combination of time and temptation. The Old Testament is chocked full of record of this happening.
A hardened heart also appears after falling out of constant communication with the Lord. Smith Wigglesworth was a world renowned preacher, and was famous for healing people, casting out demons, and raising the dead, just as the apostles did it. If you’ve never looked into his ministry of the early to mid 1900’s, then you’re missing out. He was an extremely interesting character as well as mighty in the Lord.
One thing that he said that has always stuck with me for some reason, was an answer he gave to a question concerning his prayer life. He said something along the lines of, “I never pray any longer than twenty minutes.” This startled the one who asked the question, but then he continued, “But I never go twenty minutes without praying.”
The Lord wants for us to stay in communication with him as often as possible. A hardened heart will tend to sway from seeing to it that this is even possible, by cluttering all kinds of things into spaces that would otherwise be available to spend with the Lord.
So, what do we wind up with when a child of God who neglects spending time with the Father in any way? We get someone who is converting their heart from one that is something that the Lord can work with, into a hardened heart.
Now, above it says that he with a hardened heart will fall into mischief. I can’t see how this is avoidable in any way whatsoever. If a Christian tries to move through a world that hates them without the Lord, what would anyone expect?
Plus, the Lord isn’t like us. He doesn’t give up on people in the same manner that we tend to. One of the bad things about a hardened heart, is that in order to get into the materials that the Lord can do something with, he’ll have to either wait till someone breaks that hardened heart, or he personally sees to it that it becomes so before something worse befalls a person.
As he always does, he gives us these kinds of things to think about and learn, so that we avoid having to go through self inflicted injuries or troubles. When we draw near to the Lord, he in kind, will draw near unto us. But when we back off and adopt a hardness of heart toward the Lord, having eroded any reverence or fear, it’s only a matter of time before the world does its wicked work.
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 15: King James Bible
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Hebrews 3: King James Bible
7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
Hebrews 10: King James Bible
21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
James 4: King James Bible
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
James 5: King James Bible
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Thank you for your Word, and for all of the instruction that you tuck into each sentence. Help every one of us to stay in constant communication with you every day of our lives, and according to your Word. Lead us through your Spirit, to pray as we aught, and to also give supplication for our Brothers and Sisters out there across the face of the earth. Draw us nearer to you than ever before Lord, this we pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you had to be broken of the mischief that comes with a hardened heart?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 11 P.122 – Seek what is Good
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 14 P.169 – A Heavy Heart
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 12 P.138 – Deceitful Imagination
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 10 P.97 – Wise in Heart
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 17 P. 225 – Fining pot and the Furnace