By Louis J. Sharp
How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside. But, how does he get there? Simple. An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later, the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eases his way out.
Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person’s thoughts, words and actions. For this reason, David once wrote. “Create in me a clean heart, 0 God.
Upon first reading the above I was reminded of the fact that often I had taken a bite of an apple and found half a worm. Ugh! Did this ever happen to you? The worm was concealed inside without our knowing of its presence. Yes, I have wondered how it got inside, but never pursued the thought any further.
However, there is a spiritual lesson for us in all of this. Our blessed Lord and Savior warned of corruption within, saying; “0 generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:32). Any hidden evil will come out. Concealed, gnawing worms may be revealed. Thus, the need of repeated warnings about the condition of our hearts: Jesus clearly understood the fountain of sin.
One of Jesus’ most scathing rebukes is in reference to this matter of “inside corruption.” In Matthew 23:25, Jesus said: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” Thus he severely warned: “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also” (23:26).
Mark’s gospel has Jesus saying: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders” (7:21). None can help but see the need for a “clean-up” job within the heart.
According to the Hebrew writer, our hearts are the source of unbelief. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” (Heb. 3:12).
The apostle Peter graphically portrays this condition: “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls; an heart these have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children; Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Pet. 2:12-15).
The question asked in the old gospel hymn, “Is thy heart right with God?” needs repeated emphasis. Corruption within brings forth evil fruit. Get your heart right in order to live right.
Say, are there any concealed worms living within your heart?
Guardian of Truth XLI: 10 p. 19
April May 1, 1997