Imagination–Part 1

            Imagination holds an esteemed place for most of us.  We may praise someone for their creative or imaginative way of solving a problem.  We all enjoy an imaginative story or movie from time to time.  I’ve been reading some short mystery and horror stories just for fun recently, but I’m convinced after reading some of the strangest ones that some of those writers must be doing some serious mind-altering drugs.  While I don’t want to write weird stuff, I expressed to a friend the other day that I wish I were more creative in my own writing.  He said the best thing was to write what is truthful.  That’s good advice.  You might agree, since you’ve seen some of my lame attempts at creativity and wit. 

            All this prompted me to ponder a bit.  Out of curiosity I looked in Strong’s Concordance to see what the Bible says about imagination.  It isn’t pretty.  I can only share a few verses with you in this post and the next one.

            The first mention of imagination is in Gen. 6:5, from the time before the Flood: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  That’s a harsh assessment.  While the Flood may have cleansed the earth of its wicked population, human nature didn’t change.  God echoes the sentiment about imagination after the flood in Gen. 8:21: “…and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.”  It’s evident that after Man’s Fall by Adam that the imagination is a significant part of our fallen nature.  Yet, in spite of what Man was and is, God is merciful.

            Remember the song “Imagine” by John Lenin?  It’s his dream of getting rid of all the things that supposedly prevent world peace and unity.  Note Gen. 11:6 regarding the building of the Tower of Babel: “And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”  God isn’t simply a mighty killjoy.  He knows Man’s heart is against Him and will lead to no good.  Looking back on Man’s history, Paul said in Rom. 1:21: “…when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”  King David expressed it this way in Ps. 2:1: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”  That verse was repeated in a prayer by early Christians in Acts 4:25.

            Several verses throughout Scripture indicate the imaginings of the wicked are against God and those who came representing Him, such as Old Testament Prophets.  For example, Ps. 38:12: “They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.”  In Ps. 10:2 David prays: ‘The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.”  Ps. 62:3 is a prayer against enemies: “How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.”  Did you catch those keywords—“devices”, “deceits”, and “mischief”?  Prov. 6:18 states one of the things God hates: “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief.”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Bible Study, Christian Life, Thoughts from John

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