Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. [Matthew 5:8 ESV]
Are any who live pure in heart? Is it even possible for someone corrupted by sin, whose motivations are predominantly focused upon self, to show the evidence of being pure in heart? We know for God all things are possible. We can also know once we enter eternity God will finally and permanently recreate us so we do not sin. Then the thinking of our hearts will be pure. But can anyone in this world, other than Jesus, claim purity of heart?
Please, don’t look at this question and assume there is a black-and-white answer. God sees eternity in an infinite number of colors. In a sense He does think in black-and-white. Sin is sin and righteousness is righteousness. Never will a molecule of sin invade righteousness nor a speck of righteousness invade sin. Believing and following a Yin-Yang philosophy or teaching is a perversion of truth. However, God does look at a moment of faith, as He did with Abraham, and credit righteousness. Abraham did nothing to earn the righteousness given. Abraham showed a moment of faith and God gave an eternity of His presence.
God was training Abraham for eternity. He was also using him as a witness to Himself. Abraham was not pure in heart but was being made so through the direction and deliberate actions of God, who made him in His image. Abraham showed his love for God through the evidence of his obedience on many occasions.
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. [Genesis 12:1-4 ESV]
Abraham was 75 years old when he left his people because of a command of God. There is no indication Abraham knew God as the only God but that he was beginning to know Him as such. He lived in a pagan culture, surrounded by a variety of personal gods esteemed by his family, friends and neighbors. Abraham was as much a pagan as all others in his world.
God made a covenant with Abraham before he left Haran. A covenant is a legally binding agreement one who is greater makes with one who is lesser. It is not a contract between equals. In this case God has the ability to fulfill His promise, while Abraham has no authority to force God to comply. God tells this one man He will make him a great nation, bless him, make his name great and make him a blessing to others. He then places a condition on the world, another legally binding promise, to bless those who bless Abraham and all those who descend through his divinely instituted line. Conversely, God declares he will curse those who curse Abraham, and curse all who curse any descended from him. In Abraham the world forever will be blessed. None in the world have to do anything to receive this blessing. When they curse what God has blessed then God will curse them. The weight of the fulfillment of this promise is wholly upon God.
Obedience carries no merit. Even a moment of obedience pleases God.