SET THINE HEART

“And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.”
Ezekiel 40:4

During the time of the captivity, Ezekiel was brought into Israel in a vision. In this vision, Ezekiel would be shown the temple in great detail. Our text is the beginning of the message that was given to the prophet. When you look at the four parts of the instruction given to Ezekiel in our text, you see a progression that would practically benefit us. Notice the messenger told Ezekiel to “behold with thine eyes…hear with thine ears…set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee…declare all that thou seest.” Ezekiel was to look, listen, set his heart to it, and inform others. These four practices would be useful disciplines in our lives.

First, we should be looking for what God wants to show us. That would be true of our Bible reading, our church attendance, or our daily experiences. We ought to be alert to what God might want us to learn or know. Along with looking, we should be listening. One has to wonder how much truth we miss because we are not purposeful listeners. Both of these activities involve the discipline of paying attention. We can easily be distracted and thereby fail to see or hear something that could have a profound affect on us. The Spirit of God wants to teach us, leading us into truth. In order to see, we must be watching. In order to hear, we must be listening. Sometimes, we cannot hear important messages because of the chatter of the insignificant.

Then Ezekiel is told to “set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee.” When God shows us something, we are to take it seriously. We should set our heart upon it. The phrase means that our mind should be intent upon it. We ought to ponder the things we learn from the Word of God. We are to believe and receive what we have been shown. How much spiritual truth is lost because we do not set our hearts upon it?

Finally, Ezekiel was to “declare all that thou seest.” He was to proclaim what he had seen, heard, and set his heart upon. The same could be said of us. God teaches us and shows us that we might, in turn, teach others. The lessons we learn are lessons that others also need.