Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in our heart. But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. —Zechariah 7:9-12
Years ago I was taking out a pine tree stump in South Carolina. The soil in the area was reddish in color and baked hard by the sun. I would swing the pick with all my strength as I sought to dig out around the stump, but it barely penetrated the soil. A job that would usually have taken a couple hours took me 8 hours to do.
Hardness of anything does not let another object penetrate very easily. In the context above we are told that the people who had returned from exile, including the priests, had “made their hearts diamond-hard so they would not allow the Lord’s Word to penetrate. They were hardened and would not listen to the Lord’s Word to “Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in our heart.”
Diamond-hard… many hearts are that hard and will not allow the Lord’s Word to penetrate. They are like the hard packed path which seed fell upon in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:18-19). The seed could not penetrate the soil because of its hardness and Satan, like a bird, snatches it away. Because people will not listen and accept God’s Word, there will be injustice in this world, a severe lack of kindness and mercy to one another, oppression of the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner and the poor, and the devising of evil in the heart against others. This can be the only outcome of fallen, sinful, rebellious people who do not seek to live according to God’s ways and since that is the majority of the people, this world is not going to get any better. That will only happen when Jesus makes things right… and He will (Revelation chapter 21).
I am grateful that God can soften diamond-hard hearts. He did mine and so I have hope that many other people will also have their hearts softened and trust the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. May it be so!
Thank You Dear Father for breaking through in my life that I could understand who You are, who I am and my need for You. Oh, that many others would trust You as well. Please soften diamond-hard hearts that Your Word would penetrate and many come to know Jesus. Yes, may this be the case!