Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 21-23

July 28, 2008

“I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath.” (21.5)

Why would God fight against his own people? So many today just take for granted that “God is on our side,” but on what grounds can we base this confidence. We see clearly here that God assists the followers of pagan gods in battle against Israel. God is not indebted to fight for us, let our immorality not drive him to war against us.

“I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not listen.’” (22.21a)

This is how it always is. If things are good then we act independently, having gained our own good fortune. Yet when we’re frustrated it must be the cause of someone else that tis happens. Why is our pride so great that we struggle to obey God when the world is in our favor? We must fight against becoming complacent or self-righteous when things are well, since when difficulties come this makes us want to blame others and miss out on God’s sanctification through fire (1 Peter 1.7).

“They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’” (23.17)

Can we spot the lying prophets today? They tolerate the despising of God’s Word, accept perversion or ignorance of what he has said, and redirect interpretation to avoid offense. As well they preach salvation without repentance, deliverance without regeneration. Can we see this anywhere today?

“Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD.” (23.24a)

What do I expect when I sin? Particularly when the sin is an active, conscience choice on my part. What is my goal? Why do I neglect God in such a way to seek my own wants? Do I not know he will be there after it’s done? Even more, that he is there when it’s committed, ever watching my thoughts, words and actions. What necessity do I see in sin that I feel I must do it in place of what I know God commands? Or is it that I take his forgiveness lightly, advantaging myself of the fact that Christ died for all my sin? Why do I abuse Christ so, sinning so grace will abound more. Why can’t I avoid sinning when I know all I need to do is seek his strength? “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51.3).

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 19 and 20

July 24, 2008

“Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind- therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.” (19.4-6)

Wow! The judgment of the Lord is strong. But it is also just. Notice how God lays out their sins before them. It is the same as Matthew 25.41-46. We are never condemned or punished without merit. We can do nothing to gain God’s favor, not because it is so unattainable, but because we are so depraved. What things would God lay out as reasons for slaughtering me? That is why I repent and pray with David, “Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities!” (Psalm 51.9).

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words.” (19.15)

It seems like a characteristic of all those who had the truth and yet were punished is that they refused “to hear [God's] words.” This is why the battle over the authority of Scripture is so important. Ahhhh! I just want to scream. people find so many ways to avoid submitting to God’s commands. You have to trust the Bible. I hear people declaring, “It’s all about personal spiritual experience.” Even Billy Graham! Where is this from? This has never been God’s means! We cannot bend or flux on the way God has always behaved because we’re afraid to tell Larry King that without Christ he IS going to hell! Stand firm on the truth as revealed (2 Thessalonians 2.15)! Use the Scriptures to teach, exhort, rebuke, train, and protect (2 Timothy 3.16, Titus 1.9). It is our weapon, don’t be afraid to use it (Ephesians 6.17)!

“I have become a laughingstock all the day, everyone mocks me.” (20.7b)

This is the most common persecution a Christian will face in America. People calling us fools, mocking our lifestyles and convictions. I’ve noticed myself becoming more aware and offended by this. Not just for myself but for the flippancy with which people speak of God. If they only knew.

“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” (20.9)

I am compelled to speak of you God, even when I know that ridicule is all that awaits. What you have revealed to me, the grace you have alotted me is so great that I can’t help but scream it out. God, I pray that the truth about you so fills my body that its effulgence bursts out me pores and radiates to all whom I encounter. I cannot stand to see people swimming to hell in rivers of deceit when I know the truth which has been afforded me. God, I love you. I thank you. Equip me to shout your truth in every way to everyone everywhere you take me!

“But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me.” (20.11)

I am not alone and it is no weak God who protects me. It is a dread warrior, an ultimate soldier, a terrifying fighter who provides my security. It is the same warrior who will slay all evil at the returning (Revelation 19). Why should I be afraid? Who can stand against my God?

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 17 and 18

July 20, 2008

“Thus says the LORD:’Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.’” (17.5)

So many thoughts: Those who say “I believe in the goodness of people to do XYZ”; those who look for political power to change the world; myself in anxiety over various concerns in my life. It is so hard not to turn in on ourselves for strength, yet God is so clear that we must avoid it. Curious to think what this means for those that believe they choose God and that their actions guarantee their salvation?

“He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (17.8 )

Clearly my blessings are not on account of anything earthly. For even if the whole world is against me I shall not be withered. If I trust in the Lord then I may continue to do great things in his name, regardless of the world around me.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.” (17.9a)

This is always the first thing we deny. When our trust turns to human strength our first flaw lies in the fact that we consider man to be capable of anything. But he’s not. He’s sick and desperately in need of a physician.

“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” (17.14)

What is healing or salvation that is ineffectual? But God is always effectual. He heals, he saves, he changes. Permanently. Our inheritance is protected forever by his strength (1 Peter 1.5). “And I shall never, be the same again!”

“If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.” (18.7-10)

God is sovereign over the rise and fall of nations. However he makes it clear that it is the nations responsibility to be sanctified and observe his commands. If we continue to deny him how can we keep expecting protection and blessing?

“But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’” (18.12)

This is so true of all of us. When I sin against the clear direction of the Spirit to do otherwise then I am tacitly assenting to this declaration. I act as if I think God’s punishment is an idle threat, that he will simply forgive me afterwards (or that it is okay since it’s already forgiven). Yet God desires obedience and I know his threat of judgment is real. I need his power to avoid responding in this way.

“I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity.” (18.17b)

Again, a statement we must long not to hear. We always assume that “God is on our side,” but we never stop to think that he may turn his face away from us!

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 15 and 16

July 19, 2008

“Send them out of my sight, and let them go!” (15.1b)

God will not always dwell with us if we continue to disobey. This is the danger both corporately and individually. This is why we shouldn’t continue in sin so grace should abound (Romans 6.1). I know that this fear long tormented my soul. We must understand this so we don’t continue to live in the arrogance of our sins, assuming God won’t afflict us.

“I am weary of relenting.” (15.6b)

Wow! I hope to never hear this!

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.” (15.16)

I hope everyday to be able to receive and internalize God’s Word to have faith in what I’ve heard through it, and delight in all that’s been revealed. Let me never have a heart which rejects your word, no matter how hard, but help me always stand on the sufficiency of your voice.

“And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD.” (15.20)

Fed on God’s Word I will be made to stand firm for his purpose on earth. God will protect me. Though the world may hate me God will deliver me. All I need do is stay faithful to his word. This must be the passion and desire of my heart everyday, stepping out in courage that in the end God may make me more than a conquerer (Romans 8.37).

“And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?’ 11then you shall say to them: ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.” (16.10-12)

God’s decree and reasoning are clear. We are not stricken without course. How arrogant is it to have his warning before us and not care. There must be change in the land. People must fall to their knees before God, starting with myself, before God brings us to our knees through suffering and loss. We must be about making God’s name known and working so that his Spirit may be unleashed on the nations through us. I pray that God may use me to start reform in the church. Show me God what needs cleansed so that you can use me in such a manner. Break me so that I may be used to break others!

“Can man make for himself gods? Such are not gods!” (16.20)

We cannot make gods, through we try. All that ever comes out are vein worthless idols. Help me not to make idols.

” . . . and they shall know that my name is the LORD.” (16.21b)

God won’t leave any stone unturned. Everyone shall know that he is Lord. That he alone has authority. The attitude today is for none to have authority, but thankfully one day God will make it known to all that he has always ruled. How much better it will be on that day if we were to recognize his Lordship beforehand.

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 13 and 14

July 16, 2008

(This post is the next in a series of posts containing my first blush reactions to passages I come across in the reading of Scripture. I am currently going straight through the book of Jeremiah and will be sharing with you which verses the Spirit causes to jump out at me and the unrevised, unpolished feelings which they invoke.)

“I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen.” (13.26)

There is so much shame associated with sin. I do things and have done things willingly, sometimes eagerly, and yet afterwards was so ashamed and fearful that anyone would find out. Why do I do such things? I especially see this when I lie to perfect strangers. I am so concerned about how people perceive me that I put my image before God’s command. I set myself up as an idol, that obedience to God is secondary to serving my own interests. What great shame it would be to see all of my sins replayed in front of people! Knowing this, why would I provoke God in such a way? If the Spirit is convicting otherwise then why am I not terrified to just do my own thing? A lack of fear is such a dangerous thing to suffer from.

“How long will it be before you are made clean?” (13.27b)

There is so much frustration in feeling like I have utterly killed a sin and then stumbling over it again. I fear losing the connection I have with God. I fear wasting all of the amazing things he has revealed to me and that I see he has planned. How long will it be till I no longer fail? I know I will not attain perfection (Philippians 3.12) but there must be certain sins that I should rise above eventually, right? And yet I feel as if I fall into sins which I should have killed off years ago! I can never stop, it is never complete. Owen is right that mortification is a constant process. I must not lay off actively seeking to kill certain sins or else they will bounce back to hinder me once again.

“Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save?” (14.9a)

We get so angry when God does not protect us from hard times and sufferings. We run from him endlessly and yet when we stumble, fall, turn around, and see he’s not there, we cry foul. Why do we think we’re so good that God should always protect us? Our appeal should be for forgiveness and restoration, not that God has been faithless. Of course, God answers where he is in verse 10: “They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the Lord does not accept them.”

“And the LORD said to me: ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.’” (14.14)

How many prophets are out in the Church today who are prophesying lies in God’s name? This is so dangerous. Their lies pull the hearers away from the truth, their deceit inhibits repentance which will lead to restoration. We must be vigilant against such speakers. We must search the Spirit to test the validity of those who preach in our presence (1 John 4.1-3). This is such a burden on my heart. When I see these false prophets I want to scream. I get so angered at how they manipulate God’s Word and use it as a weapon of destruction, facilitating lies and guiding men safely to hell. We have to be responsible and well educated in the Word so that when these wolves arise we can beat them away before they ever take hold. Titus 1.9 is so necessary here.

“And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them- them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.” (14.16)

The hearers of lying prophets are not safe either, for they should have known to test the message they received. Thus they are guilty and will be punished alongside the deceiver. That is why we must not tolerate the crap that people want to publish and preach about these days!

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 11 and 12

July 15, 2008

(This post is the next in a series of posts containing my first blush reactions to passages I come across in the reading of Scripture. I am currently going straight through the book of Jeremiah and will be sharing with you which verses the Spirit causes to jump out at me and the unrevised, unpolished feelings which they invoke.)

“For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice.” (11.7)

I can hear God speaking, but do I respond. There is very little, if any, sin that I commit in which the Spirit does not direct me otherwise from the start. And so my sin is not only sin in disobeying God, but is also the rejection of the Spirit’s conviction prior to my sin. I spit in God’s face so much, responding in anger, bitterness, or harsh words when I know he’s calling me to peace. I must follow John Owen in making the pleasures of God more attractive than the pleasures of sin.

” . . . but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.” (11.8b)

No matter how much enlightenment or liberalness of thought a man claims, the heart which moves in contradiction to God’s commandments is not open but stubborn. The great fallacy of Americans is that our learning has set us free, but instead our suppression of the Truth is as bad if not worse than all those who’ve come before.

“Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.” (11.11b)

We must be aware that not every affliction is intended to bring genuine repentance, for the unbeliever who cries to God only because they are unhappy is not guaranteed an audience with the King. God desires for broken hearts, not broken bones, to be the motivator for his presence.

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?” (12.1b)

It is so discouraging to see people who live with no regard to Christ being successful and stress-free, and it is so easy to let this distract from my call. It is a constant need to rest on Romans 8.28 and Genesis 50.20, knowing that through my submission God’s will can be done through me, and that is the greatest blessing of all.

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 9 and 10

July 12, 2008

(This post is the next in a series of posts containing my first blush reactions to passages I come across in the reading of Scripture. I am currently going straight through the book of Jeremiah and will be sharing with you which verses the Spirit causes to jump out at me and the unrevised, unpolished feelings which they invoke.)

“Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.” (9.5)

It sometimes surprises me the things I lie about. And it seems so natural, so little guilt associated with it. God, I pray that my heart would be broken over the slightest alteration of truth. Make me to desire truth above any false gain.

“Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the LORD.” (9.6)

How much harder do I make things on myself by constantly turning to my weaknesses instead of the strength of the almighty God? My pride leads me into avenues which harm both my witness and my communion with God.

“With his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.” (9.8b)

God isn’t looking for us to pay lip-service to each other. This is not love. How closely does this action mirror my own worship sometimes.

“Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.’” (9.23-24)

How often do I boast in the perfect attributes of God? Or am I timid to speak of the wonderful things which God has revealed to me? Timidity is not of God (2 Timothy 1.7). Let me praise him aloud before men, even if they declare me a fool and disrespect my name. Because it’s not about my name, but his that I serve.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh.” (9.25)

It doesn’t matter if your a good person. God doesn’t care about the flesh because all flesh is corrupt and contemptible. Therefore, it is in mercy that God will look at our hearts which are circumcised with Christ (Colossians 2.11), by the Spirit that our hearts are softened (Ezekiel 11.19, 36.26). If our trust is in the works of the flesh then we are doomed, but if our faith be in Christ who died for us then we shall gain eternal life.

“Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish.” (10.14-15)

It is so true, that final line, that the moment of punishment is the death of idols. This is even so in trials. How often do we see people, ourselves, running back to God when things go wrong? When it’s smooth we glory in our handiwork, in our material idols and self-gratifying pleasures. But as soon as things get tough we condemn our idols and appeal to God for relief. God, I pray that I wouldn’t waste my time constructing vain statues to my own sin! Let every work of my hands be glorifying to you!

“But I said, ‘Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it.’” (10.19b)

It is my propensity to flee from afflictions, to seek refuge as soon as hard times arise. But Jeremiah’s soul is calm, his heart is determined, that he must bear this pain. It is the same thing I see in Hebrews 13.13; willingly we should take on a portion of the suffering which Christ bore himself on our behalf. The Gospel has always been spread by the blood of believers (Acts 8.1-4), and though I pray against death, I know that whatever harms come they will serve Christ better than my arrogance in good health and spirits. God’s power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12.9). Make me submissive to this understanding.

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 8

July 9, 2008

(This post is the next in a series of posts containing my first blush reactions to passages I come across in the reading of Scripture. I am currently going straight through the book of Jeremiah and will be sharing with you which verses the Spirit causes to jump out at me and the unrevised, unpolished feelings which they invoke.)

“The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?” (8.9)

This seems to parallel the wonderful passage in Romans 1. It is so pandemic today, as it has been for all times, that men look upon their own intellect as the supreme end of wisdom and yet they display their ignorance through an open rejection of what has been revealed. This is the challenge of atheism today and is a battle that we are losing. We must fight for the Truth courageously in the power of the Spirit in hope that no more people will die under condemnation for devoting themselves to this foolishness.

“They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” (8.11)

I cannot allow myself to be deceived by a partial healing of the injuries which sin has caused to my spirit and to my relationship with God. It must be a full healing and a complete restoration, which is sought through struggles and tears and repentance and longing for God. There are no quick fixes for indwelling sin. I must be killing it daily or it will kill me.

“My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me.” (8.18 )

I struggle so much with being ungrieved by the lostness of others. I become judgmental of those who do evil in their ignorance of the light and so my heart is hardened against their condemnation instead of being moved to tears as it should. I long to be able to ache with the lost, to be moved to action by their hopeless state, to lose my jadedness at their condition. If the Lord had not shown me mercy I wouldn’t be here. Let me show mercy and go forth to fulfill the commandments of my Lord.

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 7

July 8, 2008

(This post is the next in a series of posts containing my first blush reactions to passages I come across in the reading of Scripture. I am currently going straight through the book of Jeremiah and will be sharing with you which verses the Spirit causes to jump out at me and the unrevised, unpolished feelings which they invoke.)

“Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’-only to go on doing all these abominations?” (7.9,10)

My own arrogance sometimes, and the arrogance of Western Christianity in general, astounds me as we go about doing “whatever the hell” we want to, only to show up on Sunday and say “God, you are great!”, yet just as quickly run back into our earlier deeds. God’s grace is good and is unmerited, but what assurance of faith can I have if a “love” for God and a knowledge of his commandments does not compel me to obedience? We are so quick to tell others not to judge us, but how can we even bear our own judgment in doing these things if truly we are Christians?

“Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel.” (7.12)

God’s Word gives testimony to his wrath so that I can know what awaits a disobedient life. There is a sense in which we can go overboard and attribute all affliction as active punishment for sin, but at the same time there is a very real way in which God’s wrath is poured out on unrighteousness. We have the Bible for a reason. There is an extent to which God is saying “Obey or else!”, and far from being an evil despot, God’s judgment is just against us and all our iniquity.

“And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.” (7.34)

God commands that the Gospel be taken all places but he never directs that it must persist there. Thus we should be aware that it is possible for God to remove his presence from a people and voice from a community if hearts are hardened in disobedience against him. We should not be so arrogant as to assume that God’s hand of blessing will always stay on us. We must constantly be in an act of worship and devotion, of obedience and killing of sins in the flesh, so that God’s name will be revered and not reviled in our land. It is the complacency and lukewarmness of our hearts which spiral us into the position of occupying God’s contempt.

Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 5 and 6

July 7, 2008

(This post is the next in a series of posts containing my first blush reactions to passages I come across in the reading of Scripture. I am currently going straight through the book of Jeremiah and will be sharing with you which verses the Spirit causes to jump out at me and the unrevised, unpolished feelings which they invoke.)

“Though they say, ‘As the LORD lives,’ yet they swear falsely.” (5.2)

I am becoming increasingly aware of the vanity with which we associate the remembrance and worship of God. It sickens me more each day when I hear someone refer to praise, prayer, forgiveness, sacrifice, etc. in such a flippant manner that their ignorance to the things of God is clear. Let me not be this way!

“Shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?” (5.9b)

I hope we never hear this!

“They have spoken falsely of the LORD and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.’ “ (5.12)

A lack of fear in the face of God’s wrath is not a good thing. Do I ever find myself in such a haughty state that I don’t think God will punish my transgressions?

” . . . and your sins have kept good from you.” (5.25b)

What blessings have my sins cost me so far? What blessings do I stand to lose if I stumble along the path of former sins once more? God isn’t playing games. It is not okay for me to think I can just continue in sin. Put to death my sins daily, O Lord!

” . . . but what will you do when the end comes?” (5.31b)

Occasionally I think about what it will look like when Christ returns. It looks scary! There are few things (no things) which seem as frightening to me as to see Christ returned. This is because I know how utterly unworthy of salvation I am. How wonderful is it to know that it won’t be my own works that I am trusting in to preserve me on that day. It’s still scary though. How magnificent!

“Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest I turn from you in disgust, lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.” (6.8 )

I can remember the fears that tortured my soul, knowing I am saved and yet stumbling in unmortified sin. The fear wasn’t of punishment and wrath but of the loss of God’s presence in my life. As the Puritans would say, we can have no assurance if we are still struggling in sin, for God may easily remove his voice from us while in disobedience.

“For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain.” (6.13a)

The temptation always burns strong in me when something appears attainable without much price. But God knows all and sees all, seeing how idolatrous my heart can be for material things.

“Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush.” (6.15a)

What sins am I unable to “blush” in shame about? What shortcomings have so indwelt me that I no longer feel their evil? I have desire that my conscience won’t be hardened against any iniquity.