“All the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.” Ezekiel 3:7 (KJV)
Are there any exceptions to being “impudent and hardhearted“? No, not even one. Even God’s chosen people are described this way.
If the “best” are this bad, then what about the “worst”? My friend, consider how you share in this universal accusation, and when you examine yourself, be ready to honestly assess your own guilt.
The first charge is impudence, or being “stubborn” (NLT). Before my conversion, I could sin and feel no conviction, hear of my guilt and remain unhumbled, and even freely admit my evil and feel no humiliation. When an unrepentant sinner goes to God’s house and pretends to pray to Him and praise Him, that’s hypocrisy of the worst kind!
Even after the day I was reborn, I have doubted my Lord to His face, murmured unashamed in His presence, worshiped before Him in an unworthy manner, and even sinned without repenting. If I weren’t so impudent and stubborn, I would have much more holy fear, and much deeper conviction of my spirit. I admit I am just like those in the impudent house of ancient Israel.
The second charge is “hardheartedness“, and I can’t plead innocence here either. Once I had nothing but a heart of stone, and although through grace I now have a new heart, much of my former obstinacy remains. I’m not moved by the death of Jesus as I ought to be. And I’m also not moved enough by the sin of my fellow human beings, the wickedness of our world, the attacks of doubters against my heavenly Father, and my own failures.
I wish I were rid of this ball and chain of hardheartedness within me, and I pray that my heart would melt at the recital of my Savior’s sufferings and death. This is why I must gladly proclaim “Blessed be the name of the Lord“, because this disease of the heart is not incurable. The Savior’s precious blood can render you clean, and even me it will effectually soften, until my heart is fully modest and entirely compassionate, like that of our Savior Himself.
Question: What is a favorite verse or passage of the Bible that gives you comfort when you feel the (very real) conviction of your own sin?
By Charles H Spurgeon
Updated to modern English by Darren Hewer, 2009
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