John T. Willis

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Heart Considers--VII

Several passages in scripture connect the heart with "considering" a person, a thing, a situation, etc. Here are some examples.

1. Moses says to the people of Israel in his speech in Moab: "Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you." Here the verb "know" clearly means "consider."
2. The composer of Psalm 66 says in verse 18 [Heb. verse 19]:
       If I had cherished [considered, entertained] iniquity in my heart,
            the Lord would not have listened.
The heart has the capacity to consider a situation.
3. The author of Ecclesiastes says in Ecclesiastes 7:2:
      It is better to go to the house of mourning
           than to go to the house of feasting;
      for this is the end of everyone,
           and the living will lay it to heart.
To lay to heart in this context means to consider very seriously.
4. The prophetic poet in Isaiah 46:8-9 says:
      Remember this and consider;
           recall it to heart [NRSV mind], you transgressors,
      remember the former things of old;
           for I am God, and there is no other;
           I am God, and there is no one like me.
The expression "recall to heart [mind]" clearly means to consider seriously.
5. Hosea is deeply concerned that his people Israel do not take their sins seriously. He says in Hosea 7:2:
        They do not say in their hearts
              that I remember all their wickedness.
         Now their deeds surround them,
              they are before my face.
The NRSV translates "say in their hearts" as "consider."
These and several other biblical texts us the term heart as a mental and spiritual capacity which we call "consider." The heart considers a person, a thing, a situation for reflection, spiritual growth, and daily action.

Share YOUR thoughts and insights with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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