Q&A: The Old Testament is Also About the Heart

The Old Testament is Also About the Heart

In what ways did the Old Testament require inward devotion to God as well as outward obedience?

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Answer

When we look at the Old Testament, I think, often, we get a misconception that it's only concerned about what we do, about the external activity. But it really is also about the heart. Jesus is quoted as saying that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Well, that's not just a New Testament passage. He's taken that right out of the Old Testament. So, there is this concern that who we are on the inside matches who we are on the outside. Jeremiah speaks about the heart being deceitful and wicked, and so, we need to be guarding our heart; we need to understand that the heart impacts things. Ezekiel promises that we'll be given a new heart, you know, a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone. And throughout the Old Testament, we have this kind of language that tells us that God cares about what is happening inside of us as much as what's happening on the outside. And it's a matter of integrity, that who we are in here should match who we are on the outside.

Answer by Dr. Dan Lacich

Dr. Dan Lacich serves on the pastoral team of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Orlando FL