Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.
Zechariah 7:12 (KJV)
Stone – When you think about hearts of stone, which verse do you think of? I gravitate toward the famous verse from Ezekiel 36:26 about the LORD taking out the hearts of stone and giving a heart of flesh in its place. But I never thought about how these people acquired a heart of stone in the first place until I read this verse above.
It’s quite clear, they did it to themselves. How? By not hearing the law of God, or the words of the prophets. They rejected the law and chose not to obey. And the consequence was that their hearts became as stones. The next verse from Zechariah speaks about how they cried to God, but He would not hear them. This is a perfect correlation to a verse from Proverbs.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
They chose not to hear God’s law, and the result was that their hearts would become as stone and He would not hear them. Now think about the parable of Lazarus and the rich man from Luke 19. The rich man dies, ends up some place awful, and desires that a messenger be sent to warn his 5 brothers. What’s the answer? “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” In other words, let those 5 brothers obey the law (books of Moses) and the prophets. God has already spoken and outlined His will for humanity.
But we know God is full of mercy. And this brings us back to the verses from Ezekiel.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
So He takes out the heart of stone, replaces it with a heart of flesh, then He puts His new spirit within us, why? To cause us to walk in His law. The whole reason we hope to have that heart of flesh is so that we may be obedient to His law.
So where does YHVH desire this law be written nowadays? On our hearts! We know this isn’t literal. God isn’t going to take a pen and begin writing the law on our hearts, so it must be an idiom of some kind. What does it mean to have something written on our hearts? The heart in the Hebrew culture was the source of all intellect, emotion, and character. The heart was who you were. So if something was written on the most important piece that stands for everything you are, wouldn’t that be implying the importance of it in our lives? Wouldn’t our intellect, our emotions, and our character all be governed by that which is written on our hearts? And if we’re to love God with all our hearts, and upon those hearts is His law… do you see what this is amounting to?
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5:3
The word stone is shamiyr – an extremely hard stone such as flint or a diamond. It is something practically impenetrable. If you’d ever like to understand what YHVH was dealing with, try speaking to many Christians about keeping the law of God. It is nearly impossible for them to see the value therein. So where do you stand in obedience? There are two groups; those who have a heart of stone, and those who have a heart of flesh. Your answer is revealed by how much you strive to keep the law.