Imagination–Part 2

            In my previous message I made the point that we think highly of imagination, but Scripture warns it is tied to Man’s depraved, fallen nature.  One of the things God hates is an imagination that devises wickedness (Prov. 6:18).  In Prov. 12:20 we read: “Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”

            David was well acquainted with the evil of Man, and he knew God knew of it also.  Near the end of his life, he gathered the leaders and great men of Israel to give instructions about the building of the temple under Solomon, who would reign after him.  In 1 Chron. 28:9 David said: “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”

            The people of Israel got far from the Lord as time passed and suffered the consequences.  God told the prophet Jeremiah in Jer. 16:11-13 what to say when they questioned why bad things were prophesied against them: “Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.”  Notice again the link between the evil heart and imagination.

            Here is part of what God told Jeremiah concerning Israel about a time that is yet to come.  Jer. 3:17: “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.”

            When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth before Jesus was born, she uttered prophetic words through the Spirit exalting the Lord.  One verse is Luke 1:51: “He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.”

            The Apostle Paul had something to say about imagination as well.  Though 2 Cor. 10:5 is part of a longer sentence, he conveys the idea that imaginations are among the things that can lead us away from God. Yet he includes a remedy for living a victorious life in Christ.  “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  This is not easy, given our natural tendency to sin.  Making our thoughts obedient to Christ is an act of the will, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

            Not everything Man does in his flawed, fallen nature is bad, but that nature can’t be trusted to perform righteousness according to God’s standards.  Consider what God said to Isaiah in Isa. 55:7-10: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

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

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