And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.
You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Circumcision of male infants is common in western culture, but it was mandatory for Old Testament Jews.
'Circumcision was instituted, not only as a sign and seal of the covenant into which the Israelites entered with their Maker, but also as a type of that purity and holiness which the Law of God requires...' (Clarke's Commentary on the Bible re: Acts 7:51).*
When circumcision is used to describe a heart, it is a pure and holy heart. But an uncircumcised heart is corrupt and resistant to God's Holy Spirit.
'And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you' (Ephesians 4:30-32).
We conclude that a circumcised heart is Spirit led. It is tender and forgiving--that God may be tender and forgiving in return.
Consider King Josiah of Judah. During his reign, this good king put God first--cleaning idol worship from the land. During a renovation of the temple, workers found a lost Book of the Law of Moses.
'Thus it happened, when the king heard the Words of the Law, that he tore his clothes... for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the Word of the Lord' (2 Chronicles 34:19-21).
God's response? ' 'Because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His Words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me... I also have heard you,' says the Lord' (v.27). His kingdom was spared.
Can the kingdom of America be spared by the pleading of tender hearts?
To Be Continued...
Clarke's Commentary on Acts 7:51: http://biblecommenter.com/acts/7-51.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Heart Conditions series.