Tokens of a Tender Heart
2 Chronicles 34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.
Intro: The heart of man is one of the main battlegrounds that Satan will attack.
- Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
There are a number of things that can keep us from having a tender heart.
A. Heart that is Divided
- Hosea 10:2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.
B. Heart that is Deceived
- Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
C. A Heart that is Distant
- Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
God looked at Josiah and made the statement, “Because thine heart was tender…”
Why did God say that?
What was in Josiah’s life that predicated that observation from God?
Let’s look and see…
I. A Personal Pursuit – vs. 3 “…he began to seek after the God of David…”
Verse 2 says that Josiah walked in the ways of David his father.
At the age of 16, he began to SEEK after the GOD of David his father.
There’s a big difference in walking in the ways of David, and seeking after the God of David.
When your relationship with God evolves from copycat to communion, you’re headed in the right direction.
God said that Josiah had a tender heart.
How many 16-year old’s do you know that are seeking after the God of David??
II. A Passionate Purging – vs. 3-7 “…he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem…”
Four years after seeking God, Josiah got under conviction about the idolatry in the land.
He went on a purging spree to rid the nation of false idols and false gods.
His efforts were not half-hearted.
They were not just for show.
He went all out in his efforts to purge the land.
Read verses 4-7.
NOTE: A tender heart does not mean you cannot take drastic measures.
A tender heart does not mean you are sympathetic and soft on sin.
A tender heart means you are passionate in your love and sensitive about the extent of it.
III. A Pressing Priority – vs. 8-13 “…to repair the house of the Lord his God…”
A token of a tender heart is being concerned about what happens at the house of God.
At the age of 26, he took notice that things were not right at the house of the Lord.
He didn’t just complain about it. He did something about it.
Verse 10 says they worked to repair and amend the house.
AMEND: to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute, be sore
They did it right. This wasn’t a patch job.
They didn’t sweep things under the rug.
He got everybody involved. He even got the choir and the orchestra people involved in verse 12.
A tender heart will be recognized when you’re personally invested and personally interested in the church.
If you can keep the church at arm’s length, something is wrong.
If you can stay home from church for nearly 2 years and blame the Wuhan Virus, something is wrong.
If you are ok with services being cancelled and ministries being eliminated, your heart is not tender.
If you’re fine with open sin and abominations being flaunted in the church, something is not right.
Josiah had a tender heart, and one of the tokens of that was his urgency to fix the house of God.
IV. A Painful Perception – vs. 14-21 “…and when the king had heard the words…he rent his clothes.”
They found the book in verse 15. They gave it to the overseers, who gave it to the priest, who gave it to the scribe.
The scribe Shaphan read it before the king.
Verse 19 says that the kings rent his clothes when he heard it.
Verse 20 says he dispatched 5 people to go get ahold of God.
He acknowledged that the wrath of the Lord was poured out upon them because of generational sin. (vs. 21)
V. A Public Promise – vs. 29-33 “…and the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord…”
Josiah wasn’t just convicted by the sin of the people.
He wasn’t just concerned about the coming judgment of God.
Even after he was told that he would escape judgment (vs. 28), he was not finished.
He gathered everyone together and he read to them the word of God.
And in verse 31, he made a public covenant to God in front of the whole nation.
And in verse 32, he made all the people subscribe to the covenant.
Verse 33 says he honored his commitment to God all the days of his life.
Conclusion: Can God see tokens of a tender heart in you?