God the Father is an invisible spirit and has no physical body. Yet the Bible refers to Him as having physical characteristics that theologians call Anthropormorphisms. Even though He has no body, Scripture does speak of God’s eyes, ears, nose, arms, etc. We’ve already covered the mind, face, eyes, ears, nose, voice, shoulder, back,arms, hands, fingers, and feet of God. In the final article of this series, we will consider the HEART of God. The word “heart” occurs over 800 times in scripture. Most refer to the human heart, but the heart of God is mentioned over 15 times. For people, the heart is used in two main ways; first, referring to the physical organ that pumps our blood, and secondly, the immaterial essence of our being which is the seat of our thoughts, will and emotions. Having been created in God’s image, we humans also have an immaterial heart that is the locomotive of our essential being, and is the source of our mind, conscience and emotions. As we consider the heart of God, we will enhance our knowledge of both God and ourselves.
God’s Heart is SENSITIVE
To our own detriment, sometimes we forget that God has feelings, that He is affected by what we think, say, and do. God is an emotional Being just as we are. He created us in His image, so as He is capable of emotions, so are we. It is good for us to remember that God is capable of being glad and happy, sad and sorrowful, also mad and angry. *He is made Glad by Goodness– Deut. 30:9-10… “for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your soul.” God has feelings, and His sensitive heart is made glad when He sees that His children are obedient, saying and doing the right thing!
We have 4 adult children and 12 grandchildren, so I can relate to the heart of God in this area! When we were a young couple, pastoring our first church, a young missionary couple visited and stayed in our home for a few days. Our little boy, a toddler, was exceptionally well behaved and obedient the entire weekend. The missionaries commented about how well-behaved he was. I sure was a proud father!
“A wise son makes a glad father.” Proverbs 10:1
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 4
Realize that our behavior affects our Heavenly Father in the same way. When His children do what is right, obey His word, keep His commandments, it makes Him rejoice! His holy heart is made glad by our goodness.
God has Feelings
He said this of his rebellious children through the prophet:
Ezekiel (6:9)… “I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.”
Scripture plainly teaches that His sensitive heart is made sad and mad by our actions.
*He is made Sad by Sinfulness
Gen. 6:5-6… “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, and the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
God has a heart, He has feelings, and His sensitive heart is grieved when those He has created in His image are intent on disobeying His commands and are pursuing their own self-gratification in immoral behavior. This causes God much anguish, grief and sadness of heart.
Over the years I have witnessed the deep grief of parents over their wayward children. I have seen the tears and heard the sobs of broken-hearted parents whose children have turned their back on wise counsel and loving instruction. It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars and lots of blood, sweat and tears to raise a child, and it is very disturbing to see how some children rise up in rebellion and toss it all aside in order to do their own thing, and have their own way. One wonders how a child can be that insensitive, ungrateful and selfish. It’s doubly tragic to see both the grieving parents and also know that the child is a “train-wreck that is about to happen.” There is an irrefutable law in both the physical and spiritual realm that one will surely reap what he sows. The law of sowing and reaping is a blessing if you sow righteous seeds; but it is a curse if you sow wicked seeds. Some like to carelessly sow their wild oats, then earnestly pray for crop failure, but it doesn’t work that way.
*He is made Mad by Maliciousness
1 Kings 11:4-9…. “When Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods…and (he) did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord as did his father, David…So the Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel…”
It is very serious when one deliberately and continually persists in willful disobedience to God. More than anyone, Solomon knew better, and had no excuse for his sin. His father, King David, was a man after God’s own heart, and raised his son to know the true God and His holy Word. God lavishly blessed Solomon, making him the King of Israel, and the richest, wisest person on earth. But Solomon turned his back on his God, common sense, and his own advice. He married hundreds of women, many who were idolaters. He erected idols to false gods and began to worship them along with his pagan wives and concubines. God was very gracious and patient with Solomon, but Solomon went too far for too long, and God became angry! Since Solomon did not repent, but persisted in his rebellion, God judged him by raising up adversaries that caused chaos and insurrection in his kingdom.
Yes, God is loving, merciful and longsuffering, but He has His limits! James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Thankfully, when sin is promptly acknowledged, humbly confessed, and sincerely forsaken, then God is gracious, merciful, and forgiving. But when sin is deliberately committed, wickedly relished, and perpetually pursued, then God can get very angry! And… “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”! –Hebrews 10:31.
God’s Heart is SYMPATHETIC
Psalm 103:8-18… “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities; for as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him; for He knows our frame, He remembers we are dust…”
Yes, God has sympathy for us. His tender heart has pity on our frail, human tendencies to transgress His commandments. And when we do disobey, He often chooses to be merciful, and does not punish us to the level that we deserve. Aren’t you glad?
When I think of how many times I have failed the Lord, even grieving His sensitive heart on many occasions, then all I can do is profusely thank and praise Him for His mercies that are higher than the heavens and new every morning. God’s heart is sympathetic.
God’s Heart is SEARCHING
*For Reliable Saints
1 Samuel 13:13-14… “And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God…for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people because you have not kept what the Lord has commanded you.’”
King Saul had proven himself to be unreliable. On several previous occasions, Saul had disobeyed or disappointed the Lord. Now again, he fails God by only partially obeying His clear command to destroy all of the enemy’s people and possessions. To put it bluntly, partial obedience is disobedience. We do not have the luxury or latitude to pick and choose which of God’s instructions we will obey. That’s why they are called the 10 Commandments, not the 10 Suggestions. So when God saw that King Saul was careless, irresponsible, and unreliable, then He searched and found “a man after His own heart,” and ordered the prophet Samuel to go and anoint David to be the next king of Israel.
Can God rely on you? Are you serving Him faithfully, dependably with unending devotion?
“Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58)
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galations 6:9)
God is searching for reliable saints.
*For Repentant Sinners–
Jesus said in John 4:23… “But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
Jesus said these words to a woman from Samaria who had a history of religion but had a life-style of sin. The passage informs us that Jesus asked her to go get her husband. She replied that she did not have a husband. The omniscient Messiah knew all about her and stunned her by recounting that she had been previously married to five different husbands, and that the man she was now living with, was not her husband. This woman responded by agreeing with Jesus about her sin, believing in Him as her Lord, then rushing back into town to tell everyone she knew about Jesus, and bringing them to meet Him so they too could believe. Until she met Jesus and was saved by faith in Him, she was like a lot of people who have a form of religion or are connected to a church, but are morally unchanged and spiritually lost and adrift.
How about you?
God has a heart, and He is searching for repentant sinners. “[He] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”, (1 Tim. 2:4). “The Lord…is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9)
The Anthropomorphic Expressions of God
How Should We Understand…
The Mind of God?
The Face of God?
The Eyes of God?
The Ears of God?
The Nose of God?
The Voice of God?
The Shoulder of God?
The Back of God?
The Arms of God?
The Hands of God?
The Fingers of God?
The Feet of God?
The Heart of God?
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