Sermon: Barry McWilliams Christ Church 95/12/05
1 Kings 21:13-29 The deceitful heart

These are sermon notes ... Many references are for study purposes

Jeremiah 17:5-15 This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
10 "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means.
When his life is half gone, they will desert him, and in the end he will prove to be a fool.
12 A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water.
14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

Intro: An incurable desease - all humanity infected

- Movie - Outbreak 20th Century paranoia the desease people don't even know they have got - always fatal Such a desease has existed from the dawn of mankind ..... Sin

1. The universal sickness: Contrast sick and well man: Two "trees"

(vss 5-8) curse of God:
Cursed is the strong man who trusts and relies on frail man making weak (human) flesh his arm and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord. (Ampl)
cursed - hemmed in by obstacles; rendered powerless to resist Hebr: "GaBaR" a male at height of his powers; man at most capable - "man" from the dust (Adam)
Trusti.e. places confidence; feels safe; unconcerned, not "faith" (left to one's own devices in a sea of fickle gods, vengeful deamons, and inscruitable magical devices) "flesh" Basar transitory, weak, mortal - the problem is with man's heart - which has a will to rebel which forgets it is only flesh

The Cactus that thinks He has "it all" - sitting in a desolate solitary spot
flesh Gen 6:3; Job 10:4; Psa 56.4; Isa 31:3; 2 chron 32:8 progressing action destitute (cf psa 102:17) Tamarisk or juniper Salty - nothing grows - no fruit. Blind to prosperity
The unbeliever does not even see, recognize the good things offered in the Gospel - in the midst of riches, of honor, of influence - he is like a desert plant barely subsisting in the dry desert cf eph 2:11-12 all he has will pass and all that remains is solitary, parched, salty wilderness of dispair

The Leafy Tree beside springs of living water that heat / drought cannot touch Psalm 52:8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. (NIV) river cf Psa 1:3; perennial stream waters that will never fail no fear of coming heat
no fear of drought -- Trusting in God - controls our destiny and is totally dependable
a time of trials will come (Heat)
Can that in which we trust take the heat? God in control / totally dependable leaves remain green continues fruitfulness (rom 5:3-5; Hebr 12:9-11)

Which tree describes you....

2. the deceptions of the heart: (vss 9-11) folly in trusting in anything else

Heart = center and fountainhead of life and affections (Prov 4:23) Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. (NIV) Genesis 8:21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. (NIV) Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. (NIV) Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (NIV) Ecclesiastes 7:25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly. (NIV)

"deceitful" lit following the heel, dogging ones footsteps to betray

"desperately wicked" literally "incurable" Isa 17:11; Jere 15:18; 17:6,16; 30:12, 15; Job 34:6; Micah 1:9
New age wisdom; man centered religion; "Follow your heart"
Is Jeremiah speaking of his own heart??

The partridge and its appropriated eggs......
adopting (riches) eggs (ostrich) abandoned in the midst - destitude at the end.
folly and disappointment for the hoarder [Mockingbird] Blindly assumes safety (Trusts) in that which is too weak
can't even see what the Christian has.......

3. There is a Physician who can deal with it ----(vs 10; 14)

Who can Understand it??? No one - though many try - Psychology - Philosophy - human wisdom
Who can understand it? The Lord: (vs 10) searches [always connotes a diligent, difficult probing - like a surgeon at work.] "the heart and examines [ to determine essential qualities, especially intergrity, used almost exclusively in spiritual and religious sense] kidneys" symbols of innermost being; phrase used 5 times in Jer & Psa

His healing of the heart - The treatment - trusting in God
13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust : easily obliterated because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water. 4 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

forsake,[depart from, abandon - way of righteousness, wisdom, reproof] shame -[ to be disappointed; failure of self or obj trust] Dust vs living water (Vs13) written in dust - easily and quickly obliterated.

Healing - Salvation - Heart-transplant Ezekiel 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. (NIV) Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (NIV) Jeremiah 31:33-34 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (NIV)

The new heart relying on God - sustained in the "desert heat" - no fears testing of God's people cf vs. 8- is a blessing - sustained by Living water

----> Your throne - my sanctuary!!! -- You are the One I praise!!!

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