August 28, 2021

Stony Hearts

I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 11:19
Yesterday I wrote about the danger of claiming to take the Bible literally, and today's verse from the Hebrew scriptures provides an example. Ezekiel wrote about God transforming hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. A reasonable person has no trouble affirming that the term "heart of stone" is metaphor, as the phrase "hard-hearted" would be. And the ensuing discussion of the transformation Ezekiel is referring to produces growth and understanding on all sides.

What happens when we take this same discussion to Genesis 1 and the concept of what constitutes a day. If demand that the word day in the creation account has to mean a single 24-hour period, then there's not much I can do with this passage but allow it to demand that I ignore geology, biology, astronomy, and physics. But if I allow the word day to be metaphor, then I can begin to make connections between what science tells me about the universe and what I believe about God. I can actually think, wonder, and give thanks.

The challenge we've been presented with between faith and science isn't the first time God's people have been faced with the dilemma of new thinking and reïnterpretation. On the Day of Pentecost, as soon as the Holy Spirit had filled the apostles, they began to challenge those around them to reconsider all they knew about Jesus of Nazareth. Was he a troublemaker who was rightly executed for a crime? Or was he God's Anointed, who during his life and after his death was able to transform lives?

For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.
 Acts 2:39
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
 Psalm 51:10
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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