“While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
Twice in this chapter God talks about Israel hardening their heart. It is interesting in both instances that they were the ones who chose to harden their hearts towards God. There was nothing that God did that caused them to harden their hearts, but it was their choice to refuse His way of life that caused their heart to be hardened. In this chapter, a hardened heart causes the believer to miss four things.
First, a hardened heart causes the believer to miss the blessings of God. The children of Israel saw God work for forty years, but their hardened heart caused them to forget those works. When your heart is hardened towards the things of God, you will find that it doesn’t matter what God does for you, it will never be good enough. Do you find yourself often complaining about God not doing things for you? I’m afraid too many believers have been blinded by their hardened heart which causes them to miss God’s blessings in their life. If you were to stop and see all that the LORD has done for you, you would see that God’s blessings are more abundant than words could ever express. Be careful that you don’t let your heart cause you to miss what the LORD is doing for you.
Second, a hardened heart causes the believer to despise faith. It was the heart of unbelief that caused the children of Israel not to go forward into the Promised Land. The only reason they had a heart of unbelief is because they hardened their heart. My friend, you will miss the greatest blessings of life and the most exciting life if you choose not to go forward by faith. Living by faith always brings the greatest blessings of God. You will discover the most exciting life when you choose to walk by faith. It is exciting to see how God comes through when you walk by faith. Living by faith presents challenges, but it never presents a challenge to big for God. Never let your heart cause you to miss the greatest life you can live, and that is the life of faith.
Third, a hardened heart causes the believer not to be bothered with sin’s filthiness. What was sad about the children of Israel is that they were never one time bothered about murmuring in the wilderness or dancing naked around a golden calf. You have a definite heart problem when sin no longer bothers you. Let me ask you, does sin bother you the same way it used to? Do you find yourself no longer being bothered with the depravity of sin? If you harden your heart towards God, sin will no longer bother you the way it used to bother you.
Fourth, a hardened heart causes the believer not to hear the voice of God. The verse above talks about hearing the voice of God. Isn’t it interesting that Adam and Eve were bothered at the voice of God when before they were excited to hear His voice? The reason they were bothered at His voice is because sin hardened their hearts. When you harden your heart, you will no longer enjoy God speaking to you through the reading or preaching of His Word.
If you find yourself struggling in any of these four areas, let me challenge you to find the sin that is causing your heart to be hardened. Sin always hardens your heart towards God, but righteousness will keep it soft. If you want to keep a soft heart towards God, be quick to remove any sin that could sow a seed of hardness toward Him.