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The Deceitful Heart

Jeremiah 17:9-10


"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."


The Deceitful Heart


One summer the State of Delaware experimented with the honor system for 20 days on its turnpike. Motorists without exact change at the automatic tollbooths were allowed to take return envelopes and mail the money later. The Associated Press reported that in 20 days, more than 26,000 envelopes were taken but only 582 were returned. Of those returned, some had stamps or just pieces of paper instead of money. The experiment cost the state about $4,000 before it was discontinued, and that didn't include the lost tolls.


Israel also demonstrated a dishonest heart. With their lips the people claimed to worship God, but all their actions indicated otherwise. God accused them of building altars and erecting wooden idols under every green tree (Jer. 17:2). Jeremiah called their hearts "deceitful" and "desperately wicked." The word deceitful means "crooked, polluted or slippery." They simply couldn't be trusted. But even more tragic, this situation was terminal. The word translated "desperately wicked" is used elsewhere to mean "incurable" (2 Sam. 12:15; Jer. 15:18). They had untrustworthy hearts, and that would lead to their deaths.


The one thing that hasn't changed over the centuries is man's heart. If anything, it's gotten worse. Children are killing children. Racial groups try to eradicate one another in the name of ethnic cleansing. Cases of rape, abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and brutal crimes are on the rise. But there's hope. God knows our heart and He can make it pure.


Ask God to reveal to you anything in your heart that needs cleansing. Then apply the only substance that can wash your heart clean--the blood of Jesus.


The heart of the problem is the problem with the heart.

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