Their heart was not right - When the heart is wrong, the life is wrong; and because their heart was not right with God, therefore they were not faithful in his covenant.
For their heart was not right with him - Luther renders this, “Not fast with him.” The Hebrew word means “to fit, to prepare;” and the idea is, that the heart was not “adjusted” to such a profession, or did not “accord” with such a promise or pledge. It was a mere profession made by the lips, while the heart remained unaffected. See the notes at Psalm 78:8.
“They sat down at Thy feet; everyone shall receive of Thy words.”
Wherever in Israel God's plan of education was carried into effect, its results testified of its Author. But in very many households the training appointed by Heaven, and the characters thus developed, were alike rare. God's plan was but partially and imperfectly fulfilled. By unbelief and by disregard of the Lord's directions, the Israelites surrounded themselves with temptations that few had power to resist. At their settlement in Canaan “they did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.” Their heart was not right with God, “neither were they steadfast in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away.... For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.” Psalm 106:34-36; 78:37-39. Fathers and mothers in Israel became indifferent to their obligation to God, indifferent to their obligation to their children. Through unfaithfulness in the home, and idolatrous influences without, many of the Hebrew youth received an education differing widely from that which God had planned for them. They learned the ways of the heathen. Ed 45.1Read in context »
From Kadesh the children of Israel had turned back into the wilderness; and the period of their desert sojourn being ended, they came, “even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh.” Numbers 20:1. PP 410.1
Here Miriam died and was buried. From that scene of rejoicing on the shores of the Red Sea, when Israel went forth with song and dance to celebrate Jehovah's triumph, to the wilderness grave which ended a lifelong wandering—such had been the fate of millions who with high hopes had come forth from Egypt. Sin had dashed from their lips the cup of blessing. Would the next generation learn the lesson? PP 410.2
“For all this they sinned still, and believed not for His wondrous works.... When He slew them, then they sought Him: and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the high God their Redeemer.” Psalm 78:32-35. Yet they did not turn to God with a sincere purpose. Though when afflicted by their enemies they sought help from Him who alone could deliver, yet “their heart was not right with Him , neither were they steadfast in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away.... For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.” Verses 37-39. PP 410.3Read in context »
God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention from the confusion and perplexity around them and admire His handiwork. As we study His works, angels from heaven will be by our side to enlighten our minds and guard them from Satan's deceptions. As you look at the wonderful things that God's hand has made, let your proud, foolish heart feel its dependence and inferiority. How terrible it is when the acknowledgment of God is not made when it should be made! How sad to humble oneself when it is too late! CT 457.1
The psalmist declares, “When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8. The whole of this psalm should find a place in the reading and spelling lessons of the school. The twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and seventy-eighth psalms tell of the rich blessings bestowed by God upon His people and of their poor returns for all His benefits. The eighty-first psalm explains why Israel was scattered—they forgot God, as the churches in our land are forgetting Him today. Consider also the eighty-ninth, ninetieth, ninety-first, ninety-second, and ninety-third psalms. CT 457.2
These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come; and should they not be studied in our schools? The word of God contains instructive lessons, given in reproof, in warning, in encouragement, and in rich promises. Would not such food as this be meat in due season to the youth? CT 457.3Read in context »