365 days with Newton

9 JULY

A hardened heart

‘And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Genesis 4:9
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Zechariah 7:1–14

Cain did not escape. The Lord called to him. By his answer you may perceive how sin had hardened his heart. What ignorance to think his way hid from the Lord. What insolence in asking, Am I my brother’s keeper? But he was soon silenced, the fact pressed home upon his conscience and, though he was suffered to live, his life was a burden. He was driven from the presence of the Lord, from his ordinances and the society of his people, and made, for a season at least, a terror to himself. If he afterwards recovered his spirits, he seems to have done it by getting the better of his conscience and to have been given up judicially to an impenitent mind. This is the greatest punishment on this side hell, when a man has been convinced and distressed for sin and yet afterwards finds a way, without the application of the blood of sprinkling, to make himself whole, and can busy himself for the rest of his time with a worldly life, till at length his hour comes and he falls with all his sins unpardoned into the hands of the living God.

FOR MEDITATION: ‘Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years …) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (Hebrews 3:7–9, 12–15).

SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 12 [4/4], GENESIS 4:8

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