Taking It to Heart
King James Version Utilized & Matthew Henry Commentary Notes & Holman Bible Dictionary
Simonton Genesis Ministries © June 2012
Every human body has an organ within it that assists in giving life to the body. That organ is called the heart. The heart pumps blood throughout the body which brings oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body so that it can function in everyday activities. Cardiologists tell us that an average heart pumps 2.4 ounces or 70 milliliters of blood per heartbeat. An average heartbeat in an adult is 72 beats per minute. Therefore an average heart pumps 1.3 gallons or 5 liters per minute. On a much more grandiloquent scale let it be known that it pumps 1,900 gallons or 7,200 liters per day, almost 700,000 gallons or 2,628,000 liters per year, or 48 million gallons or 184,086,000 liters by the time someone is 70 years old. That’s not bad for a 10 ounce pump! Medical science also tells us that six days out of the week the heart rate is faster in the morning than in the evening and on the seventh day of the week it is slower in the morning than in the evening.
Holman Bible Dictionary tells us that the heart from a biblical standpoint is, “The center of the physical, mental, and spiritual life of humans. This contrasts to the normal use of kardia (“heart”) in Greek literature outside the Scriptures. The New Testament follows the Old Testament usage when referring to the human heart in that it gives kardia a wider range of meaning than it was generally accustomed to having.”
As the center of physical life, the heart came to stand for the person as a whole. The heart is spoken of in Scripture as the center of the moral and spiritual life. The conscience, for instance, is associated with the heart. In fact, the Hebrew language had no word for conscience, so the word heart was often used. On the negative side, depravity is said to issue from the heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said that out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander (Matthew 15:19). In other words, defilement comes from within rather than from without.
Finally, the heart is the dwelling place of God. God wants your mind (heart) to be focused on him as the guiding light of your life. He wants us to depend upon him in life changing decisions as well as everyday decisions on the job and in our private lives. Therefore, we often hear the phrase, “Don’t take it to heart if they hurt you.”
In our text, Moses is speaking about the heart of the people and he restates three points in this chapter. He tells them to be directed by the three rules: 1. Let our hearts be filled with the word of God: Lay up these words in your heart and in your soul. The heart must be the treasury or store-house in which the word of God must be laid up, to be used upon all occasions. We cannot expect good practices in the conversation, unless there can be good thoughts, good affections, and good principles, in the heart. 2. Let our eyes be fixed upon the word of God. “Bind these words for a sign upon your hand, which is always in view (Isa. 49:16 ), and as frontlets between your eyes, which you cannot avoid the sight of; let them be as ready and familiar to you, and have your eyes constantly upon them, as if they were written upon your door-posts, and could not be overlooked either when you go out or when you come in.’’ We must lay God’s judgments before us, and maintain a constant regard to those judgments, as they guide our way of life and our work. 3. Let our tongues be employed about the word of God. Let God’s Word be the subject of our familiar discourse, wherever we are, especially with our children. Our youth must be taught the service of God. That teaching is needed now much more than any of the rules. Great care and pains must be taken to acquaint children with God in these times. I have not witnessed anything that contributes more to the prosperity and perpetuity of a positive life in a nation than the good education of children. If we plant holy seed alongside the secular educational seed, future generations will prosper in all areas of life. Moses actually repeats the assurances he had given them before, in God’s name, of prosperity and success if they were obedient. They should have a happy settlement, v. 21. Their days should be multiplied; and, when they were fulfilled, the days of their children likewise should be many, as the days of heaven, that is, Canaan should be secured for them and their heirs forever, as long as the world stands, if they did not throw themselves out of it by their own sins. If they take God at his word and don’t take to heart the things that are not of God and spiritual.
In today’s world, many Christians are standing on the sidelines watching as Satan has a field day with society and they are not taking it to heart. They are turning their heads and looking away. They are not taking to heart all of the molested children in our society. They are not taking to heart the abused wives in relationships. They are not taking to heart the frustrated husband who is afraid to speak his mind because he takes it as a sign of weakness. There are many modern Christians who are just fine with sitting in church and getting the word and going home to an abusive man or woman who does not believe. When you look at the entire thing, they are not taking God’s word to heart and that is why many things in saved and unsaved lives are messed up right now.
Many Christians will watch the world go up in smoke and will not take to heart the Word of God which could stop a suicide if they would just talk to the person who is attempting it. No, they will not do that. What many take to heart these days in church really has no spiritual value. I have noticed that many are spiritually disabled and really do not care about what is outside of the walls and in the streets that surround the church.
Many Christians take to heart the wrong actions or facts. Many have not taken to heart that some of the reasons they are having issues is because they have strayed ever-so-slowly away from God. They stopped taking things to heart about God. A few things they have not taken to heart is the reading of their bible; the diminishing prayer life; the low church attendance; the refusal to give financially to the ministry they operate under; and their actual returning to fall in love with the world.
For other Christians they have taken to heart the fact that somebody didn’t shake their hand. Somebody didn’t speak to them. Somebody didn’t compliment their new outfit. They have taken to heart that somebody didn’t smile at them. Somebody criticized them regarding something. Somebody shunned them at the mall or in the church. They take to heart that they didn’t get recognized from the pulpit or somebody sang the song they wanted to sing. However you look at it, somebody either did or didn’t do something the way they thought it should be done and they got their feelings hurt. They are taking it to heart and that is not good. You have certain folks sitting in lofty positions in churches all over this nation who look down their noses at the members like they are so much better than they are and if a member asks a question, they have to make an appointment to see them just to get one question answered. Then they take to heart the ill feelings and cold handshakes they receive from the membership when they decide that they want to be friendly and kind towards the people. When a leader does that, the people take to heart that the leader wants something from them and that is why they continue to shun the leader and give him or her short answers and a snippy remark before walking away from them.
People who take the wrong things to heart generally sit around and feel sorry for themselves. They fail to cooperate with others and always find fault with any and everything. They will often blame others for their unsavory and unethical ways. They often fail to fulfill their God given responsibilities and obligations. They fail to sense and respond to the moving of the Holy Spirit. They neglect to worship the Lord as they should, which is in spirit and in truth. All because they take the wrong things to heart, which in the biblical sense is in their minds. Their minds are so convoluted with things that do not matter that there is little to no room for God to enter in and make changes in their lives. Therefore they leave God no other option than to allow them to suffer as a result of their own decisions without God.
If we limit God by taking the wrong things to heart, we will never defeat the Goliaths in our lives. We will never cross our Red Seas. We will never survive our fiery furnaces. We will never see our Jericho walls fall to give us access to our destiny. We will never conquer our bad habits. If we continue to take the wrong things to heart, we will always have blinded eyes. We will always have deaf ears. We will always have broken hearts. So you must tell the enemy, that no matter what you say, I am NO LONGER taking it to heart but I am giving it and you over to God in the name of Jesus.
You must tell the devil and the people who allow him to use them that you are determined to follow God’s ways. You may stumble here and there but you don’t fall off of the path, but you fall down on the path. You get back up and continue along the narrow path of righteousness. You must be determined to take God and his word to heart. You must get up and lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us. You tell him I will not be weary in well doing, knowing that if I faint not, I shall receive a just reward. Tell him that I am leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus, regardless of my situation or circumstance. Tell him I have taken too many of the wrong things to heart. I have taken too much talk, too many insults, too many snide remarks, too many pusillanimous statements from behind the pulpit when you should be talking about the Lord, and too many back-stabbings to heart. Tell the enemy I have changed course and my heart is now on making what God wants me to make out of my life. I have decided to take God to heart. I have decided to take his word to heart. I have decided to take the Holy Spirit to heart. I have decided to set heaven as my goal and around the throne of God as my destiny.
Tell the enemy and the people he uses to try to get under your skin because they are uncomfortable with themselves that you will not allow anyone to hinder you from obtaining your personal and spiritual goals. Tell the haters I will no longer allow you to make me change direction after God has given me revelation in my walk. Yes, you may trip me up sometimes. Yes you may fool me sometimes. Yes, I may have to cry sometimes. Yes, I will make mistakes sometimes. Yes, I will misjudge or miscalculate sometimes. Yes, I will say things I should not say to people sometimes. Yes, I will get upset and angry sometimes. But I am going to walk this Christian walk to the best of my ability because I have taken God to heart. I am going make this journey that I am destined to make.
Each step I take, after taking God to heart, will make me better and not bitter. Each step I take will make me stronger and not weaker. Each step I take will make my spiritual eyesight sharper and dimmer. Each step I take will strengthen my spirit and increase my mental capacity to deal with your sententious and pretentious attitude. I have taken God to heart.
I have walked too many miles. I am strong enough now that I can carry my evil relatives. I can carry the lies you have told on me. I can carry the rumors you have started. I can carry all of the trash that the enemy can throw at me.