Hearts Lacking Contrition
You may wonder why the Lord deals so harshly with some people and not as much with others. For instance, David’s sins required capital punishment, yet the Lord spared him. The reason is that David had a contrite heart, Ps 51:17.
Look in Acts 8:9-24 . Why was Peter so hard on Simon in verses 20-24? Because in Acts 8:21 Peter said, “thy heart is not right with God”. His lack of contrition was his undoing.
And in Acts 5:1-6, look what happened. Why did Ananias just die on the spot? As Peter said in Acts 5:3, “Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost”. His heart never would have gotten right with God.
In Mal 1:2-3, the Lord said, “I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau”. Why did the Lord hate Esau? According to Gen 27:41 “Esau hated Jacob… and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob”. Esau and his descendants never have changed their heart about Jacob and his descendants.
Why did the Lord take his Spirit away from Saul but not from David, 1 Sam 16:13-14? The difference between Saul and David was their heart, 1 Sam 13:14. David’s heart was for the Lord; Saul’s heart was for himself.
In the reign of Asa, in 2 Chr 16:7-9, Hanani said, “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him”. When Asa heard this, he was wroth and put the seer in prison, 2 Chr 16:10. This is a sure indication that his heart was not perfect toward the Lord.
A Contrite Heart
Look how differently David responded. When Nathan told David “thou art the man”, David repented, 2 Sam 12:7, 13 and dealt with his heart, Ps 51:10, 17. He had a vastly different heart; a contrite heart. Even in 2 Sam 24:10, David’s heart smote him after he had numbered the people.
The Lord is looking for a contrite heart Ps 51:17. A contrite heart is a heart showing sorrow and remorse for sin. As Paul wrote, “godly sorrow worketh repentance”.
Look at Jehoshaphat in 2 Chr 19:1-4. He had a contrite heart when he was rebuked by the prophet. He had a heart to seek God and he brought the people back to the Lord God.
A person who doesn’t have a contrite heart will never come around to the Lord, just like Saul. So, we need a contrite heart. We must be always receptive of a rebuke, always sorrowful over sin, always repentant, and always ready to get right and stay right with God.