Hard Forehead & Stubborn Heart

Ezekiel 3:7 ESV

But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.

As I’ve been thinking about this verse, there are a couple of perspectives that I can take to view this passage. I initially put this in the frame of reference of me being in the place of Ezekiel. That as the Lord brings opportunities for me to share his word of truth and speak into the lives of people, I should not be surprised when the words I speak are not heard or taken into account. That the rejection coming from my speaking God’s truth does not ultimately reflect on that person rejecting me, but on their rejection of God himself. It is my responsibility to speak God’s truth in obedience to his leading. It is not my responsibility to bring about change in a person’s life. Only God can change a person’s heart and bring about repentance and humility.

As I continued thinking and considering this verse, I realized that more often than not I am the house of Israel. I am the one hearing the word of truth being proclaimed to me by friends, pastors, authors, and the Spirit. I am the one who has a hard forehead that will not allow the words to penetrate my thick skull and inform my mind. I am the one with a stubborn heart, who refuses to hear the truth being spoken to me. I reject the person talking to me. I dismiss them as being too fundamentalist or not understanding my situation. I turn back on them my anger because the truth pricked my heart and exposed the ugliness within. I reject them and what they say without thought. In my pride, I remind myself that I know best and they just don’t have all the information and clearly don’t understand the circumstances.

Ultimately, I am rejecting Christ. When the word of reproof comes, a godly man will be humble. He will see and hear the truth being spoken. The hard truth about sin in his life. The hard truth about his failure. The hard truth about the path of destruction that he is walking. A humble godly man will hear this reproof and repent before the Lord. Repent and rejoice. For the godly man knows that if he is not humble, God will humble him. That the Lord, out of love, will humble his child and bring him to repentance.

I have been reading “The Godly Man’s Picture” by Thomas Watson. He talks about the difference between being humbled and a humble man. The inclination of a humble man is that he wants to be corrected. Watson says, “If there is any traitorous lust in our heart, we would have it found out and executed. We do not want sin covered—but cured!” So in humility I receive the corrective words that come ultimately from the Lord. I take them into my heart and expose any hidden sin lying there. More than that, I kill that sin or as the puritans of old would counsel, I mortify (kill and subdue) that sin.

Again it comes again to humility. This word has come up so often during my reflection times this week. Reminding me of the importance of humility. Reminding me of the times I was not humble and the Lord humbled me. The Lord brought me low and placed me in a state of humility. He has taught my to be humble. He continues to teach me to be humble. Lord, make me humble.

Journal Entry // October 02, 2021

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