Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. Luke 11:39-42
In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin. The plans of the diligent lead to profit. Prov. 21:1-4
God is interested in our hearts. In the Bible, the heart is the center of the human spirit, from which spring emotions, thought, motivations, courage, and action. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” In this passage, Jesus sees the hearts of the Pharisees attending the dinner. He is not afraid to have this difficult conversation about their motivations and actions.
In I Samuel 16:7 “the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” Samuel was told this so he would anoint David king of Israel. Jesus shows he is concerned about our heart as well. When he speaks to the Pharisees about what was inside the cup – it is a metaphor for the heart. Jesus is concerned for these leaders in Israel. He sees their hearts and wants them to change the course they are on, to have hearts that love God, have compassion on the poor and the oppressed and to be humble – able to accept a rebuke and acknowledge the need to change their attitudes and actions. David’s prayer, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise,” Psalm 51:16-17.
God’s desire for our heart is in the old and the new testament. Ask God to reveal His truth about the heart. For further study look at these passages. Psalm 73:6-7, II Kings 22:18-20, II Kings 23:3, Jeremiah 17:1-10, Proverbs 22:17-20, I Kings 8:38-40,58, 60-61, Romans 8:26-27, I Corinthians 4:5, Ephesians 3:14-19, Philippians 4:4-8.
By Grace Hunter