Deuteronomy 28:54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:
Sometimes the most effective means of defining a Bible word involves researching those words commonly associated with the word in question. Delicate is such a word. On four occasions, the Bible associates the word delicate with variations of the word tender (Deuteronomy 28:54, 56; Isaiah 47:1). This association provides the Bible student with the sense that a delicate person is easily broken spiritually. Additional Bible study demonstrates that a tender heart remains pliable and prone to brokenness before the Lord. Conversely, the Bible points to a hardened heart as remaining obstinate. The word obstinate conveys an inflexibleness or stubbornness. As believers, we should aspire to be tenderhearted before the Lord with a heart easily moved to accomplish His will.
- (For children): Ezra is a great example of someone with a tender heart toward the things of God. The Bible says he prepared his heart (got it settled that he would do things God’s way and not his own) (Ezra 7:10). He, therefore, searched God’s word and greatly desired to do what it said.
- (For everyone): Is your heart easily moved by reading God’s word? Does the Lord prick your heart when His word is preached? Do you find that the Lord frequently compels you to be faithful?
- What kind of things might assist a believer in developing a tender heart? What other things might lead to a hardened heart? Which things are a consistent diet in your life?
- Ask the Lord to use these studies to tenderize your heart.
- Ask God to show you the things in your life that could harden your heart.