VIII. The Human Heart
Without a doubt, the most often mentioned part of our being, and the most important part of our being is the heart. It is mentioned 600 times in the Old Testament! It is mentioned 103 times in the New Testament! The plural, “hearts,” is mentioned 54 times in the Old Testament and 61 times in the New Testament. Other forms of the heart besides these include:
- Wise hearted – 7 times
- Willing hearted – 1 time
- Broken hearted – 2 times
- Faint hearted – 3 times
- Hard hearted – 1 time
- Merry hearted – 1 time
- Stiff hearted – 1 time
- Stout hearted – 2 times
- Tender hearted – 2 times
- Heartily – 1 time
- Hearty – 1 time
All in all, that comes to about 840 references in the Scriptures to the heart. Obviously, the heart of our being is the part of us that the Bible gives the most attention to, and we should do the same – Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” We are not speaking of the physical muscle, or pump, that circulates the blood in a person’s body. Almost without exception, the Scriptures refer to “the core of our being” when it refers to the heart.
Sometimes you will hear someone say, “with all my heart and with all my soul.” They mean “with all their being.” They do not say “with all my body and with all my spirit.” Those are often very shallow.
The heart is what we are – “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…,” Proverbs 23:7a.
The heart is what we say – “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” Matthew 12:34b.
The heart is what we will not do – Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the King’s meat, nor the wine which he drank.”
The heart is what we will do – 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
The heart is where evil originates from within us – Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
The heart is the origin of a God-implanted faith that can believe unto righteousness – Romans 10:10, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 6:17, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”
Sufficeth to say, the heart is what we are, and who we are.
A. Hebrew words translated into the English word “heart” and their definitions, from the Old Testament:
1. Leb – the feelings, will, intellect of the heart or center of someone, the midst.
2. Lebab – the heart, the most interior.
3. Nephesh – the vitality, soul, heart.
4. Sekviy – the mind or heart.
5. Meah – the bowels, intestines, stomach.
6. Labab – to be enclosed.
7. Gereb – the center or nearest part.
8. Lebab (chaldee) – corresponding to the heart.
9. Bal – anxiety seated in the heart.
10. Libbah – the heart.
B. Greek words translated into the English word “heart” and their definitions, from the New Testament:
1. Kardia – the core of the thoughts or feelings. The Latin derivative of Kardia is cor from which we get the English word “core.” The heart is the core of our being.
2. Sklerokardia – hard-heartedness, destitute of spiritual perception.
3. Psuche – the soul as where the heart is seated.
4. Kardiognostes – one who knows hearts.
5. Apopsucho – to breathe out, the failure of the heart.
C. We are made in the image of God. God has a heart. Some examples include:
1. Genesis 6:6, “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
2. Genesis 8:21, “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.”
3. Jeremiah 3:15, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” The Lord Jesus was troubled in spirit at times in His ministry. John 11:33, “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in his spirit, and was troubled, ” John 13:21, “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.”
The Lord Jesus was troubled in His soul once. John 12:27, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.”
Never is it said that Jesus was troubled in heart. In fact, He taught the opposite: John 14:1, 27, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. Peace I leave with you, my peace I unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” and also in Luke 24:38, “And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”
Some things should trouble our spirits and our souls; things like our sins or our burdens. Nothing should be allowed to trouble our hearts.
If we obey the word of God, Jesus should be allowed to dwell in our hearts richly. Why then should the heart be troubles? Ephesians 3:16-19, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”