"Neither came it into my mind"

by A.E. Knoch

THIS passage in Jeremiah 32:35 has been used as an argument to prove that all is not out of God. As it is a typical example of how discordant translations and disqualified minds brazenly oppose God's express declarations, we will point out a few facts for the consideration of those who think that they can find a foundation for their unbelief in some obscure corner of God's Word. In both statements God is dealing with His treatment of Israel, but one is a closing summary, and is given as a great, all embracing truth. In the other God is expostulating with them for their abominations in causing their sons and daughters to pass to Molech, which, He says, did not ascend on His heart, not His mind. Those who do not know what the heart is, immediately make the false inference that God does nothing except as His heart is in it. In the very beginning it grieved Him at His heart that He made man (Gen.6:6). Does this prove that He did not make man? Does anyone imagine that God's heart is in any of the evil and sin in the world? Let anyone study the usage of the word heart and he will see that it is quite possible for God, as for us, to do things which are not on the heart.

No wonder those who bring up such a passage revolt at the thought of God's deity! But there is little excuse for such ignorance, for God is expressly said to do things far more terrible than that done by the Israelites in Hinnom. The prophets are full of it. If we could see at a glance all the suffering which He expressly claims as due to His hand at one siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar alone, our hearts would be sick. Yet His heart is infinitely more sensitive than ours. What shall we say? That He did not bring these things on them, because they did not come on His heart? God condescends to speak to us as if He were a man, as in this case, in order that we may be able to enter into His feelings. Our hearts are often grieved by what we must do. So His heart is not in the evil which He does. It was not in the abomination of idolatrous Judah, yet in Ezekiel 20:26 He expressly declares of this very sin, "I am defiling them in their gifts, in causing to pass all who open up the womb." May God keep us from the modern abomination of propping our unbelief on a distortion of His holy Word! That certainly grieves His heart!

[Return to main indexpage]