Proverbs 6:18a

A Heart that Deviseth Wicked Imaginations

 

Introduction:

1. Previously: the evil use of body language – vs.12-14.

2. Solomon continues to warn his son about the things God especially hates—the seven deadly sins.

3. So far, they are also linked to a part of the body. (face; tongue; hands; now the heart)

THE HEART

1. Heart: inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding; reflection; emotions;

a. Heart = as seat of thought life; our appetites; seat of emotions and passions; as seat of courage.

b. It is the seat of either sin or holiness. (Luke 6:45)
• It is where we treasure up all of our innermost thoughts, desires, plans, ambitions, goals, and purposes…
• Whether they be good or bad!

c. I Sam. 16:7 – God is most concerned about the heart.
• How has your heart been lately?
• Has it been a source of that which is good, lovely, pure, holy, joyous… OR has it been a source of malice, bitterness, resentment, subtlety, and evil intentions?
• You want to know what kind of person you really are? Very often we put up a “front” that is not a good reflection of what is really going on inside. (hypocrisy)
• Prov. 23:7 – for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
» What kind of person are you? What fills your heart throughout the day? What do you think about continually? What’s on your mind?
» Is our heart filled with ambitious thoughts of worldly success?
» Is our heart filled with inflated views of self?
» Is our heart filled with self-righteousness?
» Is our heart filled with a desire to please and honor God?
• Examine your heart. THAT is the kind of person we really are!

d. All of the issues of life proceed from the heart. That’s why we are told to keep your heart with all diligence! (Prov. 4:23)

e. The heart devises all the plans and sets the direction for our whole life. It is the very core of our being… the inner control center of our life…

THE HEART DEVISES…

1. Devise: to cut into; plow; engrave; or to plot evil…

a. Evil is plotted out like a man plots out how he is going to plow his field. (Which way would be the most advantageous? In what direction should the rows be plowed? How long? How many? When is the best time? How deep? Which fields?)

b. Farmers don’t just start plowing any old field. They put a lot of planning into growing their crops if they want to be successful.

c. As the seat of thought life, the heart thinks, makes plans, imagines things, tries to predict the outcomes of certain actions, devises the whole course of one’s life… it all starts in the mind… the heart.

d. Prov. 6:14 – Frowardness is in his heart; he deviseth mischief continually!
• The kind of person Solomon is describing is one who is constantly thinking of new ways to exhibit mischief… planning to stir up trouble… it is a full time job!
• If frowardness (evil—the old nature) is in the heart and controlling the heart, then that heart is going to be continually devising ways to express itself… planning… plotting… imagining…

2. Prov. 24:8 – a froward heart naturally devises mischief. Thus, the one who makes such plans is called “mischievous.”

a. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he!

b. He behaves that way because that is the kind of person he is.

c. Solomon warns his son about the kinds of evil he should expect to see out there in the world.

3. Ps. 36:3-4 – another mischievous person—

a. His mouth is deceitful

b. He has quit following the ways of wisdom; he has quit trying to do good.

c. He stays up at night devising his mischievous plans…

d. He doesn’t abhor or hate evil. He seems to delight in it!

4. Micah 2:1 – Others plan and plot evil at night… and just wait for the morning light that might carry out their plans.

a. Note that they carry them out when it is in the power of their hands to do so.

b. Many evil people make such plans but do not have the ability or opportunity to carry them out.

c. God holds them responsible for their thoughts!

d. Prov. 24:9 – the thought of foolishness is SIN! Even if the opportunity to carry out your plan never materialized.

e. Mischievous people are constantly devising wicked imaginations…

5. There are people like that out there!

a. Perhaps you work with one. Perhaps there is one or two in your class at school! Perhaps you live next door to one.

b. Perhaps you have even met one in Christian circles!

c. What destruction such a person can do! What damage—in a neighborhood… in a school… a church… even a family!

WICKED IMAGINATIONS

1. Imaginations: thoughts; plans; inventions;

2. I Chron. 28:9 – the Lord knows all the imaginations and thoughts of our hearts! David told this to Solomon…

a. We are to seek God with a pure mind and heart…

b. If there are evil intentions or motivations in our heart, God knows.

c. That is comforting to know—especially when people treat us cruelly. God knows their hearts too—and will deal with them in justice one day.

d. We can rest in that—and need not take vengeance into our own hands.

3. God hates those who devise wicked imaginations. He loves those who devise pure imaginations.

a. We ARE responsible for our imagination… our mind… our thoughts… our day dreams… where we allow our minds to wander…

b. Jer. 7:23-24 – The Lord rebukes Israel for her imagination
• God said “Obey me. Keep my commandments.”
• Israel resisted—and chose to walk in her OWN imagination…
• Whatever she devised in her own mind—THAT would she do.
• It speaks of a mind that refuses to submit to God… and demands to imagine and plan its own ways.

c. Jer. 13:10 – God has spelled out one direction and one course, but they have devised another course in their own minds. (This seems better!)

6. II Cor. 10:3 – “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.”

a. God does not tolerate imaginations that wander from the straight and narrow.

b. He demands that they be cast down—by the HOLY SPIRIT as we fill our minds with things that are pure, lovely, of good report, full of virtue…

c. God requires that our MINDS be in submission to His Word and His will.

d. It is possible to be a total rebel in our minds—and put on a front on the outside. (Hypocrisy)
• We can do the right things; say the right things; outwardly obey; and yet rebel on the inside.
• God sees the heart. One cannot fool God.

7. Solomon’s point is that the HEART devises such wicked imaginations!

a. Such plans and intentions originate in the human heart.

b. Jeremiah tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked!

c. Unless the HOLY SPIRIT controls us, our hearts could deceive us!

d. Unless we are Spirit controlled our hearts could devise wicked imaginations… make evil plans and plots… (With great subtlety of course!)

8. The world is full of sinners whose hearts are fallen and are filled with wicked devises.
• God hates it. How much? Read Gen.6:5, 11, 13!
• There was a time when the whole world was characterized by this deadly sin… and God destroyed the whole world.
• If God hates it that much—suffice it to say that we should not use our minds and hearts that way—to plan and plot evil!

9. We have a responsibility to RENEW our minds… daily. (Rom. 12:2)

a. Notice that this renewed mind is PRECEDED by a life that is given over to Christ… presented as a living sacrifice… our all on the altar.

b. The end result of a renewed mind is that we begin to PRACTICE God’s will… those good thoughts are put into practice, just like the wicked put their evil thoughts into practice.

c. Just as the wicked lie in bed at night devising wicked imaginations, we too should lie in bed at night meditating on our great God! (Ps. 63:5-6;

d. Ps. 143:5 – I will meditate on the Lord and MUSE on His works!
• Muse: put forth thoughts; commune; ponder… wondering about good things…
• Just as the imagination can be let loose to devise evil, it can also be let loose on the wonderful works of God!

e. When our minds are daily renewed in the Word of God, we will be busy using our minds to think of ways to glorify God—to witness to the lost—to minister to the saints—to improve our service in the local church—to be a better vessel in God’s hands!

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