Friday, February 10, 2012

Commentary: Written in the Heart

Written in the Heart


Geology is the science that deals with the history of the earth and its life especially as recorded in rocks; it is also defined as the geological features of an area.  In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.  The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock.


You may ask yourself, how that can be, there is more dirt than rock?  Well, dirt, also known as Soil, is composed of particles of broken rock that have been altered by chemical and mechanical processes that include weathering and erosion. In engineering, soil is referred to as regolith, or loose rock material. Soil differs from its parent rock due to interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and the biosphere.  Soil is commonly referred to as earth or dirt; although technically, the term dirt should be restricted to displaced soil.


Man was created out of dirt, which means that man's flesh is part rock or stone.  In contrast, the Ten Commandments were written on tables of stone (Exodus 24:12).  We do not know if God engraved them on the rock.  We do know that the writing was externally visible, as if to be read.  The writing was not only visible, but was indelible - it could not be deleted.  In the incident when Christ was brought an adulteress to be condemned by Him (John 8: 3 – 11), when Christ traced in the sand, it was also superficial and visible.  But, it was not indelible.  We could argue that the reason for the tables of stone was to represent the Israelites harden hearts, which could not soften.  The writing was to be permanent because God's law is eternal, thus permanent.  Christ's tracing in the dirt would not be permanent because sin is not permanent.  And, apparently, these men whose sin Christ wrote on the dirt, felt convicted so they had not hardened their hearts beyond the point of no return, at least not yet. 


This said, we know that God's original intention was to write the law in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16).  But, is it our literal hearts?  There are several ways to write on flesh.  Tattooing, branding, scarifying are some ways to write on flesh indelibly.  The writing would stay permanently.  But this is in the skin.  To write literally in our hearts would require something like open heart surgery.  Once the cavity chest is open then you would have to find a way to stop the heart, so it is stable to write on, without killing the person in whose heart you are writing.  Being that is it is God performing this procedure, he can do it in miraculously ways.  The question is what will it accomplish? 


Well, what did the other writings accomplish?  The writing of the law in stone was to be a perpetual reminder of God's intervention at the people's unbelief.  It was to be a reminder of what God required of them, and the fact that they could not meet those requirements on their own effort.  It was a reminder of God's character contrasted with the people's character.  It was to convict them of their Sin, in hopes to lead them to repentance.  Instead, the Israelites misinterpreted the law by using it as a means of salvation. 


The writing on the dirt served a similar purpose.  These people were accusing this woman of sinful behavior, for which they had also been guilty, but no one else knew.  Christ brought their sins to the public in the same way that they had brought this woman's fault.  In other word's Christ was telling them, "Should we stone you too?"  Now those that were condemning stood condemned themselves.  But, at the end of the story we find a beautiful twist,


John 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

John 8;11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


Imagine how grateful she felt toward Christ.  He delivered her from the mob that harassed and assailed her.  Jesus delivered her from a certain and impending stoning.  He delivered her from the guilt of her actions.  There was a change in her mind.  Gratitude and love for the Master were now written in her heart.  The law that at first condemned her now suddenly was a source of life. 


Rather than tattooing the Law in this woman's pumping heart, Christ worked in her mind.  (Implied in Mark 7:21, is that the mind is the seat of the heart).  He changed her belief system.  Now, instead of seeing God as an exacting disciplinarian, the woman saw God as merciful and compassionate.   The words go and sin no more must have ringed in her mind forever more.  She had no need to Sin anymore.  She could count on God to keep her from doing it.  Now, she trusted Him.  The Law was written in her heart.   She became what Paul called in 2 Corinthians 3:3 an epistle of Christ, "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."

Raul Diaz