The heart [Heb leb— over 860 times; Gk cardia— over 85 times] is used frequently in the Bible to refer to the actual physical organ, as well as to the innermost being, the source of knowledge and understanding, will and desires, emotions and moral conscience, rebellion and pride. The first mention of the heart was not in the context of romantic love, but God’s observation of man that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). The second mention of heart was God’s response, that “He was grieved in His heart” (Gen 6:6).
The human heart is deceitful, desperately sick, and impossible to understand (Jer 17:9–10), yet God knows and tests the heart, and will circumcise the hard heart to make it responsive to Him.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do!
Reflection: What aspect or lesson from last week’s lesson or lecture most encouraged or challenged you? Why?
Comfort Zone Psalms record profound observations on the reality of evil in the world. Grasping God’s promised blessings for the righteous and the ultimate fate of the wicked provides a perspective that produces endurance under difficulty. Begin your study in prayer and ask the LORD to teach you to delight in Him.
1. Which principle regarding the Psalms of Torah discussed last week has been most helpful to you? Why? Which principle challenged you?
2. Which principle regarding creation encouraged you this past week? How have you applied it personally this week?
3. Read Psalm 37:1–15. List on the following chart as many commands for God’s people from these verses as you can find. Considering the commands you found, what observations might you make about our human response to injustice and the temporal success of evil people?
4. According to Psalm 37, what ultimately happens to evil people? List as many consequences as you find.
5. What kind of “time frame” do you think is in the psalmist’s thinking? What kind of “time frame” do you think we usually operate in? What difference do these two perspectives make?
6. Read Psalm 14.
A. The fool is described as one without wisdom. List as many descriptive words as you can find in this Psalm for the fool or unwise one. What warning can you derive from these descriptions?
B. What additional insights do you gain from the cross references on the qualities and inclinations of the human heart in the Optional Studies for Personal Enrichment?
8. Read Psalm 112. List from this Psalm the promises to those who fear the Lord. Which promise will you claim this week?
9. Read Psalm 133. What two metaphors does the psalmist use to describe the blessings of unity? When have you experienced this joy? When have you been grieved by its absence?
10. Read Psalm 131 aloud. How do you feel after reading this Psalm? How does this give you hope?
11. What one insight or lesson do you want to remember from this week’s lesson? Note it below and on the journal page entitled “Songs for My Soul” at the back of the workbook.
Choose one verse from this week’s lesson to memorize. Write it here and meditate on it. Do you remember your verse from last week’s lesson?
Our heart reveals the thoughts of the mind, the desires of our will and is of primary importance to God. List what you learn from the related scriptural cross references about the heart. How do these insights enhance your understanding of the qualities and inclinations of your heart?
What is the condition of your heart?