Hardness of Heart

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Hardness of Heart – 24 September 2006

Early this morning, after watching the local weather forecast on TV, I happened to look in on a program on another TV channel. A “Christian” woman was talking about something that I hadn’t heard or read about for a long time and, once again, I was appalled at the story that she was telling. I don’t know who started this tale, but the hard-hearted “Christians” won’t put it to rest. In a nutshell, it goes something like this: A shepherd has a little lamb that won’t behave, so he breaks the lamb’s legs and carries the lamb around on his shoulders until the lamb heals. The lamb then follows the shepherd like a good little lamb.

This woman claimed to be illustrating David’s Psalm 51 (from the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) in which David, having been confronted by Nathan the prophet about David’s sin with Bathsheba, prays to God for forgiveness. In this psalm are the lines:

Psalm 51:8-9

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
~ King James Version

Why in the world would anyone want to use line 8 of this psalm “… that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice” – a metaphor that David was using in speaking to God – when it has nothing to do with a lamb, and everything to do with David’s conviction of his own sin? Why use an innocent animal as the obvious scapegoat in a gruesome illustration nowadays? Isn’t there enough hardness of heart in this world without going back and regurgitating a made-up, sadistic story that really bears no resemblance to David’s psalm?

A few years after being born again in the Lord Jesus, I read this lamb story in a Bible tract and was horrified, not only by the cruelty of the tale itself, but by the obvious insensitivity of the “Christians” who published the tract and by how out of context the story was with Hebrew teachings. A few years after that, I was listening to a “Christian” tape when, lo and behold, the pastor told the same story, but not in connection with Psalm 51!

I should mention that one of these “Christians” mentioned above was a Catholic; the others were Protestants. Hardness of heart knows no bounds!
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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