Jeremiah 11: The Problem of the Heart
I know that a lot of people will say that they don’t want to believe in Christianity because they don’t have first-hand evidence of the Providence of God. Maybe they have never seen a miracle, so they automatically assume that miracles cannot happen. Jeremiah 11 talks about how the people of Israel did not even have that excuse. As people who had been divinely delivered multiple times, there had been generations of testimony regarding God and His deliverance, but the people were still not willing to recognize Him.
Jer 11:6 Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.
Jer 11:7 For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.
Jer 11:8 Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.
Obviously, the people who were alive at the time of Jeremiah were not alive at the time of Moses, but that was also not the only time God actively intervened on behalf of the nation of Israel. It happened in the time of Joshua, through the time of the Judges and even beyond that. The main point is that the people had abundant evidence that God was there, and all that God told them was to obey.
However, despite the evidence that God was exactly who He said He was, the people were still stubborn and did not do what God told them to. With all the evidence that they had, it was still an issue of the heart.
I point this out because, as you all know, I love apologetics. I think that it is an incredibly valuable field, and I will be pursuing my MA beginning next Monday. Having reasons for Christianity is vital. However, even with all of the evidence that we can present for the reasonability and rationality of the Christian worldview, there is still the heart. We don’t want to lose perspective that there are emotional reasons that people might not want to believe in God. In Jeremiah, he mentions stubbornness. Some people just don’t want to put their trust in anything. Some people are angry at God.
The list could go on forever, but I think that is valuable for us just to remember the balance. We absolutely need to be able to explain and give the reason for the hope that we have, but we also need to remember that pure reason will not always be the most useful tool. Like the people mentioned in Jeremiah, even with all of that evidence, there might be other reasons we need to help people come to terms with.