Day 7 – A Heart of Flesh – 2023

Day 7 – A Heart of Flesh – 2023

“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you, and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” 

Ezekiel 36:26 

Read Ezekiel 36:24-28 

Hardening of the arteries is a common, life-threatening physical ailment. Becoming hard-hearted socially, emotionally and spiritually diminishes the circulation of the living spirit God has provided. Ezekiel and his countrymen experienced wartime devastation and forced removal from their land. Those who survived had many reasons to be bitter and hard towards God. The prophet took the risky position to tell them that the destruction came about because they turned their hearts from God’s way. Stone idols had filled their hearts, hardening them to the words of God. 

In exile, they heard the taunts that their god had abandoned them. God’s name was ridiculed by the nations and God responded jealously for God’s own name. God promised to restore the hills, valleys, waterways and cities and to return the people to their homeland. But bringing the people home again would not be sufficient if they returned to their old ways. They needed to change. A new heart and a new spirit would enable the people to follow God’s statutes and ordinances. 

One of my uncles was a popular and busy minister. A checkup determined that he had an enlarged heart and would need a transplant. He did receive the transplant, but it came at the cost of someone else’s life. He confided to me at one reunion that his priorities changed after that. He was more interested in playing with his grandchildren and being with people than dealing with the business of the church, among other things. His new heart of flesh gave him a new life. 

Remove the hearts we have allowed to become stony through our own pursuits. Put new hearts in us that will follow your life-giving ways, loving you and loving others. 

Advent Devotions
Greg A. Camp, Ph.D.

Greg A. Camp, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies Fresno Pacific University


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