Daily Readings & Thought for November 12th. “THIS PEOPLE’S HEARTS HAVE GROWN DULL”
Today’s readings.. (Ezra 8), (Hosea 9), (Acts 28)
It is challenging to note how God’s word often uses the word ‘heart’ to describe the real attitude of human minds, as God sees them. Our reading in the book of Acts reaches its’ conclusion, and this seems to be almost an anti-climax. Paul is in Rome for “two whole years” living there “at his own expense.” At the start of this time “the local leaders of the Jews” [v.17] gathered together at his request and Paul explains to them the circumstances that led to him being in Rome. He tells them, “it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” [v.20] And for us, ‘it is because of the hope of Israel” – and all that flows on from this hope about the kingdom age, that we stand apart from others who claim to believe in Christ!
The local Jews “came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus …” [v.23] The foundation for all that he said about the hope of the followers of Christ in “the kingdom of God” [v.31] was “from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.”[v.24]
Paul saw their attitudes as being a fulfilment of a prophecy by Isaiah, “this people … will indeed hear but never understand … will indeed see but never perceive.” [v.26] Can we see parallels in this with today when Bibles are more freely available than ever before: but people only read what they want to read. Isaiah also wrote (under God’s direction) says Paul, “this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes …” [v.27]
Interested point! Do you “hear” as a result of what your eyes see? In these days of TV and multiple visual aids most people do! How much of what we “see” makes our minds “dull”? So much of it is carefully packaged from the perspective of human wisdom. May this not be happening to those who really read and digest God’s word. May we make sure we have an adequate ‘meal’ every day to keep our “hearts” healthy.