Warning Signs of A Hard Heart

In my last post I described how after God seemed to open some scriptures to my understanding, I let my excitement to share what I’d learned cause me to ignore my wife’s conversation and really grieve the Holy Spirit.

In that post I also mentioned a warning I was made aware of very early after becoming a “Born Again with God’s Spirit” Christian. Don’t ever pray for patience. Another thing that I’ve heard preached and witnessed for myself is, be on the lookout for a snare of the enemy or self-induced pride when you think you’ve had a mountaintop experience with God. I think God’s Word hints at that in this verse,

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I Corinthians 10:12‭-‬13 NKJV

Having a mountain top experience with God or maybe any other accomplishment puts us in danger of having “pride” in what “We’ve Done.”  Pride that gives an over inflated opinion of yourself will cause you to “Miss the Warning Signs” of an approaching fall.

Have you ever wondered how King David who the bible so many times praises as being a “Man After The Heart of God” can be reconciled with the man who committed adultery with a loyal servants wife, then cold bloodedly have him killed to cover it up when he finds out the wife is pregnant for him.

In 2 Samuel 11:22-24, a messenger comes to tell King David an update of the battle and about the death of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. David’s plan has worked out just as he schemed. David feels No guilt for Uriah’s death and tells his military commander to feel none also.

Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab: ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and overthrow it.’ So encourage him.”
II Samuel 11:25 NKJV

I don’t want to get ahead of what this post is about though. It’s to share the scriptures God brought to my understanding that day and that I got so excited about.

As I was reading the My Daily Bible devotionals last year I read these verses and thought, “What???”

After this it came to pass that David attacked the Philistines and subdued them. And David took Metheg Ammah from the hand of the Philistines. Then he defeated Moab. Forcing them down to the ground, he measured them off with a line. With two lines he measured off those to be put to death, and with one full line those to be kept alive. So the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought tribute.
II Samuel 8:1‭-‬2 NKJV

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Ok  so I found out this is saying that King David went to war against Moab and defeated them. David took the men that were captured and made them lay on the ground. Using  “line,” a length of chord,  he measured out two- thirds of the captives to be put to death and one-third of them became servants and paid tribute for their lives.

2samuel.8.2.Tissot_lg

After I understood what measuring the captives with line meant I thought, “that sounds like an unusually cruel way to put even an enemy to death.” As I looked  around the web for “The Rest of The Story” as Paul Harvey use to say, I did find some reasoning for David’s actions.

In Duet. 2:9 God had warned Israel to not harass the Moabites, they’re  your cousins. It happens to be in today’s MyDailyBible app devotions,

DailyPlan : one-year-tract : 2019-05-29 #Bible https://www.mydailybible.org/dp/esv/one-year-tract/2019-05-29.htm

Israel (Jacob) and Moab (Lot’s descendents) share a great-grandfather in Terah, the father of Abraham (Gen 11:27).

And David’s great grandmother is Ruth, of the Book of Ruth, she is a Moabite. So David brought his parents to the king of Moab to keep them safe while Saul was hunting down David to kill him.

1 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 3 Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.” So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
I Samuel 22:1‭, ‬3‭-‬4 NKJV

(2) He smote Moab.—David’s former friendly relations with Moab (probably connected with his own descent from Ruth), are mentioned in 1 Samuel 22:3-4. The cause of his entire change of bearing towards them is not certainly known, but according to Jewish tradition the Moabites had proved false to their trust, and had put to death David’s father and mother. 

The Jewish Midrash also says the king of Moab killed David’s parents and all his brothers except Elihu. He is the only one ever mentioned again after this event in the bible, (1 Chronicles 27:18). So David went to war to get revenge and was unusually cruel in the way he killed the survivors. This should have been a warning sign to David that his heart was hardening towards God’s way of NOT repaying evil with evil. David let his power, hardness of heart and a “root of bitterness” defile many, (Hebrews 12:15) and become morally bankrupt for a season.

Many wonderful things happened to David between 1 Samuel chapter 22 and 2 Samuel chapter 8. He has become king of Israel and even brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. But a festering “rooting of bitterness” and perhaps too many mountain top experiences with God has caused King David to think a little too highly of himself. If only the Apostle Paul were around in his day to counsel him,

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I Corinthians 10:12‭-‬13 NKJV

The thing the Holy Spirit had impressed on me the day I ignored my wife’s conversation to get done what I’d deemed important was,

“You’ve just learned what ‘hardness of heart’ can lead to. Why are you treating the person that loves you like you don’t have time to listen.”

You might be thinking, wow he’s making a big deal about just a little incident that almost wasn’t even one. But I know the magnitude of how strongly I felt convicted and the impression it left on me.

Failures in our relationships with people or with God and failures in our moral character are NEVER Blowouts. They are just an accumulation of Slow Leaks that are unaddressed until they fester and cause massive damage in us and to others, often it’s to those that we love. This song by Casting Crowns has a chorus that relates to the “Slow Leak” theory. Families Never crumble in a day, Daddy’s Never crumble in a day, It’s a Slow Fade. Gradually, over time, things creep in that numb our compassion, mercy, faithfulness and devotions to what are really important. One day you look at yourself in the mirror and have no idea how you became this wicked, sinful person. You weren’t paying attention to the “Warning Signs” and schemes of the enemy or your deceitful heart.

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Hebrews 3:7‭-‬8‭, 12-15 NKJV

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Oh and about King David being a “Man After The Heart” of God. The thing that made it possible that saying to be attributed to David is that he took responsibility for his sin and asked God to Forgive him. He didn’t blame someone else. And he asked God for something I really know a lot about. He asked God for a Clean, New Heart.

Psalm 51:1-4 Have mercy on me,O God, according to Your loving devotion; according to Your great compassion, blot out my transgressions.  Wash me clean of my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight so that You may be proved right when You speak

10-14 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence; take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You. Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness.

16-17 For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You take no pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

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