Summary: There is an old fable about six men blind from birth who lived in India. One day they decided to visit a nearby palace. When they arrived, there was an elephant standing in the courtyard. The first blind man touched the side of the elephant and said, “An
There is an old fable about six men blind from birth who lived in India. One day they decided to visit a nearby palace. When they arrived, there was an elephant standing in the courtyard. The first blind man touched the side of the elephant and said, “An elephant is like a wall.” The second blind man touched the trunk and said, “An elephant is like a snake.” The third blind man touched the tusk and said, “An elephant is like a spear.” The fourth blind man touched the leg and said, “An elephant is like a tree.” The fifth blind man touched the ear and said, “An elephant is like a fan.” The sixth blind man touched the tail and said, “An elephant is like a rope.” Because each blind man touched only one part of the elephant, none of them could agree on what an elephant is really like.
Bringing that analogy into the spiritual realm, many people have misconceptions or an inaccurate picture about what God is really like. Believing the wrong thing about God is a serious matter because it is idolatry. Does that surprise you? Contrary to popular belief, idolatry is more than bowing down to a small figure or worshiping in a pagan temple. According to the Bible, it is thinking anything about God that isn’t true or attempting to transform Him into something He isn’t.
God Himself pointed out the fallacy of idolatry, saying of man, “You thought that I was just like you” (Ps. 50:21). We must be careful not to think of God in our terms
It is essential that our picture of God is accurate as He truly is – holy, awesome, sovereign, righteous, and full of love and goodness. Instead we often put God in a box—and our box is incredibly small! Whenever, we lose a right view of God, everything else gets out of perspective. Sad to say, we are suffering from a low-view of God – a god made in our image. In Matthew 5:8, Jesus calls us to a life of purity, and as a reward “we will see God.”
In the Beatitudes, Jesus is dealing with principles which impact every area of our lives. This simple sentence, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" becomes a powerful road map that will lead us to the promised fulfillment of a personal encounter with God. It is a call to heart-purity. Jesus is saying that the condition of our heart before God is of first importance. Indeed, it seems to me that our priority as believers is to maintain a right heart attitude toward God.
In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read, "But the Lord said to Samuel, ’Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’" It is clear that God looks past outward behavior and outward appearance to the real issue - the condition of our hearts.
We read in Proverbs 21:2, "Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weights the hearts." Even in the Old Testament we see that God has always been after hearts which are right toward Him. When David prayed for his son Solomon, he said in 1 Chronicles 29:19, "and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments, Thy testimonies, and Thy statutes, and to do them all . . ." David prayed for Solomon to have "a perfect heart."
On the other hand, it was said of King Rehoboam when he began to reign, that "he did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the Lord" (2 Chronicles 12:14). The heart determines our standing before God. So what did Jesus mean when He spoke of pure in heart? What does pure really mean? Does it mean perfect? Does it mean sinless? If it does, then we are all in deep trouble.
The Greek word which is translated pure is katharos. If it sounds like the word catharsis, it is because catharsis comes from this Greek word. It simply means to make pure by cleansing. It is used in psychology and counseling to refer to a cleansing of the mind or emotions.
The heart in Scripture refers to both the mind, will and emotions. It refers to the control center of the will. The writer of Proverbs counseled, "watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life" (Proverbs 4:23). In Matthew 15:19, Jesus said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." The heart encompasses both mind and will. The heart determines behavior.