I know I've written about the heart here before, but it is such a prominent theme in these three chapters that I would be remiss to ignore it. There is a tendency even within contemporary Christianity to believe that God desires "good works" from His people. I had a student say something of that nature to me several years ago, and it's a common thought among Christians. The reality is that God doesn't care nearly as much about "good works" as He cares about a clean and pure heart. Jesus said that from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Similarly, the state of the heart influences a person's actions. Lest you be tempted to think that this is almost like the age-old question, Which came first, the chicken or the egg?, let me suggest that pure and good actions can only come from a pure and clean heart. Can bad people ever do good things? Yes. But I'm talking about the overall actions of a person. God didn't desire more "good works" from Israel; He desired hearts that were surrendered to Him. Through Jeremiah, God communicated to the people of Judah: "O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved," (4:14). And just as God didn't simply desire more "good works" from Israel, the same is true for us. He wants our hearts to be washed from evil. When that happens, the overflow of them will be pure and good actions. How is your heart?