“Because thine heart was tender” (2 Kings 22:19)
We have already considered the circumstances and significance of these words last month. Let us now proffer a few remarks upon how a tender heart may be preserved. This is a matter of great importance, for though such a most desirable possession be obtained as a sovereign gift from God, yet it can only be retained by much diligence on our part. This should scarcely need any arguing, yet hyper-Calvinists are likely to demur, supposing that an insistence upon Christian responsibility is the same thing as crying up creature ability. But does not the natural shadow forth the spiritual here, too? Is it not a fact with which we are all familiar that the more “tender” any object or creature be, the more care and cultivation it requires?
“Keep thy heart with all diligence” (Prov. 4:23). This must put an end to all quibbling on the part of objectors: where God speaks there must be an end of all strife. And diligence, great and constant diligence, is required on our part if a tender heart is to be preserved. How? In what directions? First, by guarding against everything which is hostile to it. To be more specific: it is sin which hardens the heart. In exact proportion as sin obtains dominion over us, do we steal ourselves against God. And it is just here that our accountability comes in: “Awake to righteousness, and sin not” (1 Cor. 15:34). Thought we cannot impart a tender heart, we can certainly impair one. “Harden not your hearts” was the Lord’s call to His people of old, and to us also today; and if we are to comply therewith we must fear, hate, and resist sin.
To continue reading A. W. Pink’s article, click here.