Ps 95:8 says, “Harden Not Your Heart”. The reference in Psalms is to the Jews who wandered in the wilderness and didn’t make it to the land of Canaan because they erred in their hearts, and tempted the Lord. They are an example to us to harden not your heart, 1 Cor 10:6, 11. Though you are saved it is still possible for you to harden your heart toward God and God’s words. When you do, you suffer consequences. The Jews who hardened their hearts, for instance, died in the wilderness.
You must be very careful to harden not your heart. When you harden your heart:
You don’t consider, Mk 6:52. “They considered not the miracle of the loaves; for their heart was hardened”. In Mk 6:34-44, Jesus fed the 5,000. Then in verse 45 he “straightway” constrained his disciples to get in the ship and go to the other side. They were able to make it to the midst of the sea before they encountered the contrary wind and began toiling in rowing. And they rowed till the fourth watch of the night, when Jesus arrived and calmed the wind.
When the wind ceased after Jesus boarded the ship the disciples were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure. Why were they so amazed? They had not considered the miracle of the loaves. To consider is to think about carefully. Jesus had demonstrated to them a lesson in faith when he fed the 5,000. But they didn’t apply what they had seen to the next circumstance they faced. Their hearts were hardened. Their knowledge of the sea, their toiling in the wind, their experience with storms and traveling by ship occupied their thoughts. They never stopped to consider the miracle.
You must consider what Jesus has been showing you in your life through his words. You’ll need to apply these lessons by faith to the circumstances you will face in the future.
You don’t understand, Mk 8:17-21. When Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, he wasn’t talking about bread. He was talking about the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, Matt 16:12. But because the disciples’ hearts were hard, they didn’t understand the meaning of what Jesus said. Instead, they reasoned among themselves. Perhaps, their god was their belly. And like the first point, they hadn’t considered the miracles of feeding 5,000 and 4,000. One loaf with Jesus was more than enough. They didn’t need bread from the Pharisees.
Often, the trouble with understanding the Bible is a hard heart. That’s why you must harden not your heart. We don’t need help from the Pharisees. For instance, we don’t need their simpler translations. We don’t need their scholars’ interpretations. Instead, we need divine understanding. And for that, we need hearts that have not been hardened.
You don’t perceive, Mk 10:5. When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce, they didn’t perceive what his words intended. In verse 2 they were tempting him with their question; they weren’t seeking understanding. Look at Mal 2:16 and Gen 2:24. You can see what God thinks of divorce.
When Moses wrote the precept in Deut 24:1-2, the Lord provided a way for divorce. But that’s not what he intended. In like manner, the Pharisees didn’t perceive what God intended with the sabbath. They were legalists who didn’t perceive what God intended in his words and so they misused them.
For another example, the law is our school master to bring us to Christ, Gal 3:24. Paul didn’t perceive this and by the law was trying to exterminate those who had followed the school master to Christ. 7th day adventists handle the law the same way today. They are Religionists.
You don’t believe, Mk 16:14. The disciples heard confirming eyewitness reports of Jesus’s resurrection, but they didn’t believe them. They didn’t believe what Jesus had said earlier about his death, burial, and resurrection. And they didn’t believe what the eyewitnesses told them. When you don’t believe what Jesus said and you don’t trust him, your heart is hardened to your own destruction. Men die and go to hell because of this.
Conclusion: Harden not your hearts. You must consider what Jesus has said and what he is teaching you in your life. We must read and understand his words by faith. And we must, with his help, perceive what his words say and how they apply in our life. Finally, we must always believe his words and trust him. Belief is paramount in effectual praying, Mk 11:23-24.
With the decline in our country and the consequences of our disobedience, you and I will need these four things to navigate through the coming difficulties. Harden not your heart. For more on this topic see Hard Heart. Also see Symptoms of a Hard Heart.