And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
“Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”
Why does God harden hearts? Truth, it would appear hardens the heart of those who hear it but will not accept it. The more it is repeated the more hardened their hearts will become to it. Isaiah wasn’t commissioned to lie or be dishonest. Not to mislead or instruct with fallacy. Instead, to preach truth. This the wicked did not want to hear, and therefore the truth would harden their hearts.
Indeed it is much like when I was younger and refused to obey the advice of my father. Many times I knew he was right yet my pride would not allow him to be correct. I refused to hear his counsel. I continued down a path of destruction and my mind slowly began to believe that I wasn’t all that bad. In my pride I couldn’t allow his ways to be right. That would mean my ways were wrong. The more he truth told me the more I was driven away. Thanks to the Lord that he saw fit to save me from myself.
We must endeavor to be like Isaiah who cried out “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts” (Isa 6:5). Jesus said ” what comes out of the mouth[of man], this defiles a man”( Math 15:11). The Bible says the seraphim put a live coal, fresh out of the fire, to his lips. John the Baptist speaks of the Holy Spirit cleaning his threshing floor and burning the chaff with unquenchable fire (Math 3:11-12). Isaiah had also used this symbolism. Speaking of the wicked in Israel, He said ” the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff” (Isa 5:24). This can all be applied to our hears, or our inner man. The flesh nature must die so that the new man can be born and grow in Christ Jesus. Our hearts are the Holy Spirits threshing floor. Our flesh nature the stubble and chaff.
Isaiah’s heart was soft and pliable. He was prepared for, and desired the cleansing work of God in his life. In order to be used of God we must be willing to be cleansed in this manner. To put away the old and to take up the new. You can be sure that the flaming coal hurt as it was put to Isaiah’s mouth. This is not any easy, painless process. This cleansing will be a painful. All the things that we hold onto as our strength’s will slowly all be burnt away. We must however endure. Otherwise we run the risk of becoming as those cursed ones of Israel who were doomed to destruction in this passage.
Oh how wonderful it is be to be the wheat stored up in the Lords barn (Math 3:12). Pure and whole. Fully cleansed of all the wickedness of our wretched hearts. Truly perfected to the fullness of the stature of Christ Jesus himself (Eph 4:13).