A DECEIVED HEART Jeremiah 17:9
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Here we find one of the most quoted verses of Scripture dealing with the heart of man. It is not speaking of the physical organ called the heart, but the very soul—the seat of the affections—of a man.
The word “heart” or “hearts” is found in 875 verses of the Bible. I have not found one verse that applies heart to a physical organ.
1. The First Mention of heart in the Bible – Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
2. The Last Mention of heart in the Bible – Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
I have found that the First Mention and the Last Mention of a subject to agree and thus it is with the usage of the word “heart.”
1. The Bible Speaks Of God’s Heart – Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
2. The Bible Speaks Of Thinking With The Heart – Genesis 6:5 and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
3. The Bible Speaks Of Speaking With The Heart – Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart,
4. The Bible Speaks Of Comforting The Heart – Genesis 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts;
5. The Bible Speaks Of The Heart Having Integrity – Genesis 20:5 in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
6. The Bible Speaks Of The Heart Fainting – Genesis 45:26 And Jacob’s heart fainted,
7. The Bible Speaks Of Hardening The Heart – Exodus 8:32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart
8. Enough Said! There are hundreds of direct references to the heart as being the soul of man.
Let’s look at several things about my heart, your heart, everyone’s heart. Every one of us battles with our heart. Preachers, deacons, song leaders, Sunday School teachers, instrument players, front pew to the back pew—we have problems with the deceitfulness of our hearts.
1. The Danger of our Heart. The heart is a source of “heartache” for each of us today. Our “hearts,” by a sinful nature is naturally depraved. I will be so glad when eternity begins for me and this sinful flesh is gone. It matters not if you are male or female; it matters not how much you love the Lord; it matters not how godly a life that you try to live; your heart, my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. That is the total depravity of the flesh.
a. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. It interesting that the Bible says “above all things.” I have been deceived by others; I have been deceived by circumstances; but the greatest deception that you and I face is an inward one.
1) You need to take heed to yourselves. Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; (Heed – to hedge about or to pay strict attention to something. Yourselves! We spend more time worrying about others than self when the greatest enemy that we face is the one who faces us in the mirror.)
2) Never trust your heart. Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. (One of the times that God calls a man or woman a fool is when they place trust in their feelings and thoughts. Right and wrong are dictated by God’s Word, not what we think of feel.)
3) Never follow your heart. Isaiah 44:20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? (The heart will lead you in the wrong direction. “If I know my heart” is a deceptive phrase to follow.)
a) Religion Can Deceive Your Heart - James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
b) Promiscuity Can Deceive Your Heart - Job 31:9 If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door;
c) Alcohol Can Deceive Your Heart - Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
d) Pride Can Deceive Your Heart - Jeremiah 49:16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.
e) False Prophets Can Deceive Your Heart - Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
b. The Heart Is Desperately Wicked. Desperate – having urgent need; dangerous. The desires of the heart of an individual drive them to do hideous, wicked, perverted things.
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
c. The Heart Is Depraved. Who can know it? The answer is understood: no one.
2. The Spiritual Defense of our Hearts.
a. Our Heart’s Defense Takes Spiritual Diligence.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Keep-protect with vigilance. All-priority. Diligence-Meticulously.)
b. Our Heart’s Defense Takes Desire.
Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, (There are few in these last days who are willing to serve God with all their heart. Most only follow their heart. Desire dictates direction.)
c. Our Heart’s Defense Takes Determination.
Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. (I am in this thing for the “long run.” Better men than I have fallen to the wayside over the years. I am not speaking evil of them because they are my friends and I believe that they love the Lord but, for various reasons, they followed their heart instead of determining their hearts.)
Conclusion: a. The Heart Dictates What We Do – Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
b. The Heart Declares What We Are – Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
Victory Baptist Church 28 April 2021 victorypalmetto.com