Dirt in the heart throws dust in the eyes.
Dirt in the heart comes from several sources. A heart that looks to someone else or something else for fulfillment or satisfaction rather than to the Lord Himself heads the list. Dirt also occurs in our hearts when we fail to respond to the direction from the Lord in our lives. The point at which we are disobedient to the Divine Voice marks the beginning of its accumulation. Unconfessed sin may, in addition to the above, contribute to dirt in our hearts. Regardless of the reason for dirt in the heart, the effect is the same. It throws dust in the eyes. Dust in the eyes obscures the path ahead of us so that our steps may be faltering and stumbling. We may be required to stop at the side of the path. Because they are no longer able to discern the path ahead, many will stray into the wrong path. Proverbs 7 describes such a young man with dirt in his heart and dust in his eyes. Verse seven says, “I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. “ Verse ten relates “Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.” Verses 24-27 summarize the end of the story. “Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; Her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” We all know many, both young and old, who have gone down this path because of dirt in the heart and dust in the eyes.
Failure to respond to the call of the Lord in his life created dirt in the heart and dust in the eyes of Jonah. Jonah 1:3 states the following. “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.” He chose a path which was the opposite of what the LORD had directed in his life. As chances happened, he managed to find a ship headed exactly to the place he had predetermined to go, namely, to Tarshish! We cannot trust circumstances, the advice of others, or our own heart if we reject the leading of the LORD. They will all lead us down the wrong path if we are disobedient to Him.
Walking away from the Lord and His revealed light always obscures our path. There is a street lamp by our mailbox at the edge of the street. Sometimes, after dark, I remember that I need to get the mail from the mailbox. As I walk toward the street lamp, all my steps are sure, and I can see perfectly. After getting the mail and returning to the house, I am walking away from the light and the path is not clear. It becomes increasingly shrouded in darkness. I am in danger of running into a bush or stumbling along the way. This experience always reminds me that turning away from His Light will lead me down an increasingly darkened path. It is like walking with dust in the eyes.
Dirt in the heart throws dust in the eyes and not only obscures our path but obscures the Lord Himself. We are distanced from Him in our intellect, our emotion, and our will. Dirt in the hearts had reached such proportions in the days of the prophet Malachi that the people’s vision of the true God was obscured. They even asked “Where is the God of Justice?” (Malachi 2:17) The love that God had for them was obscured. In Malachi 1:2 they ask “How have you loved us?” They were blinded as to how they had sinned against God asking the following in Malachi 1:7. “How have we defiled you?” Even their reconciliation to God was obscured when they asked “How are we to return?”
What advice do we have from Scripture that guards against dirt in our heart? There are two passages of Scripture that specifically speak to this need. One of these is Psalm 19:14. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD my Rock and my Redeemer.” The other is found in Psalm 139:23-24. “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” If these verses reflect our daily prayer and desire of our hearts, then the LORD will be faithful to prevent and remove dirt from our heart and dust from our eyes.
In Christ, Richard Spann