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September 22 Today’s Reading: Zechariah 5-9
“They made their hearts as an adamant stone.”
The Lord God declares that the heart of fallen man is as obstinate and hard “as an adamant stone.” The adamant stone is a legendary stone of impenetrable hardness. It was thought to be harder than flint (Ezekiel 3:9). How hard, how impenetrable, how unbreakable the heart of man must be, if the Lord God compares it to an adamant stone!
The obdurate hardness of the heart of man is displayed throughout the Scriptures; but it is nowhere displayed more fully than in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night our dear Savior was arrested and led away to the judgment hall. There were among those who “took Jesus, and bound Him, and led Him away” (John 18:12-13) a great mixture of people. Some of them were Roman soldiers. Some were servants of the priests and Pharisees. Among them were Judas and the Pharisees.
But in one thing they were all alike. They all “made their hearts as an adamant stone.” They all saw our Savior’s Divine power forcefully exhibited. The soldiers were compelled, by the mere force of our Savior’s name, “I AM,” to fall backward as dead men to the ground. All saw the miracle our Lord performed when He touched Malchus’ ear and healed him. Yet all remained unmoved, cold, indifferent, insensible, and hard.
Don’t you find that astonishing? They all acted as if they had seen nothing out of the ordinary. — “They made their hearts as an adamant stone!” They saw these things and hardened their hearts, like Pharaoh, and went on coolly with their callous business. — “They took Jesus, bound Him, and led Him away!”
Oh, how hard the heart of man is! Nothing can break it! Nothing can penetrate it! — Nothing but omnipotent grace! Bless God, there is hope for such hard hearts! The legendary adamant stone was thought the hardest of all stones, harder than flint (Ezekiel 3:9), harder than the nether millstone (Job 41:24). Fire could not burn it, or even cause it to be heated, except on it’s very surface. The adamant stone could not be broken by a hammer. Yet, this legendary stone, the hardest of all stones, when soaked in a goat’s blood was melted, dissolved, and broken, like an aspirin in water. So the hardest heart of the most obstinate sinner is melted, dissolved, and broken when sprinkled with the precious blood of Christ, the sinner’s Scapegoat.
Nothing can break the heart but the almighty, efficacious, irresistible grace of God. Nothing can soften the stony, adamant heart except the precious blood of Christ sprinkled upon it by the Spirit of God, declaring the forgiveness of sin.
If God the Holy Spirit sprinkles our hearts with the blood of Christ, if He applies the blood, we look upon Him we have pierced and mourn. Miracles will never penetrate our hard hearts. Judgments will never break our hearts. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, though ever so frightening, will never penetrate the heart of a sinner. Affliction will never break it. The law, with all its threats and curses, will never break the heart of man. Hell itself cannot break the rebel heart of man. But the blood of Christ does!
The blood of Christ, sprinkled on stony hearts as hard an impenetrable as adamant, breaks the hard heart of man, humbles the sinner, and bows him as a contrite one before the throne of God’s free grace, causing him to cry like the Publican, “God be propitious to me, the sinner. Have mercy upon me through the sin-atoning blood of your dear Son!”