“A NEW HEART”
BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 9-12
In Psalm 51, David is lamenting over his affair with Bathsheba and all of the events that followed. In this song/prayer, he asked God to “Create in him a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51.10). Who among us has not felt the heavy burden of guilt? Guilt can be such a powerful emotion because it can be positive in the sense of bringing us to conviction and forgiveness, but it can also be negative in the sense of weighing us down and preventing us from growth. If guilt is not an emotion that we’ve experienced, it is either because of ignorance or rebellion. In either case, it usually results in us having a heart of stone, but even when our heart is hard and dull of feeling guilt, God still has the power to change us. In Ezekiel 11, the prophet talks about what God can do to a heart of stone. “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20). In Ezekiel’s case, God knows that His people will finally come around and understand why God has allowed the captivity to take place. When they understand it has been because of their idolatry, they will finally begin to feel this emotion of guilt. Their heart of stone will be replaced with a heart that is capable of feeling guilt, regret and conviction. It is then that they will begin to walk in the ways of the LORD and obey Him, so they never have to feel that emotion again. Today, when we experience guilt, it is best that we handle it quickly by addressing our sin and asking for forgiveness. The longer we put it off, the harder our heart will become.