DEVICES OF THE HUMAN HEART.
Prov. 19:21; Eccl. 7:29.
1. The word "device" translates a Hebrew word that means: thought, imagination, means, and purpose in various Old Testament passages.
2. So, the devices in a man's heart are his intentions, plans, purposes, imaginations, thoughts, or schemes.
I. MAN DEVISES SCHEMES FOR FULFILLING GREED.
A. The wants of man often surpass their needs.
B. People develop a strong craving for material things.
1. It is said that every man has his price. Some higher than others.
2. The Bible refers to this excessive desire as covetousness.
a. Which is referred to as idolatry. Col. 3:5.
C. Greediness produces wicked imaginations. Psa. 36:4.
1. Such is first in the power of the mind...Mic. 2:1.
2. So, to feed their greed, people have contrived daring plans and schemes.
a. Take the example of Gehazi, Elisha's servant. 2 Kgs. 5:20-27.
II. MAN DEVISES WAYS TO EXPLOIT SENSUALITY.
A. The public mand is bombarded today withsexually-oriented material.
1. Everything from toothpaste to automobiles, to pesticides are advertised as having sex appeal and usually portrays a scantilly dressed woman in the picture.
2. Most movies and TV productions have gone far beyond any semblance of moral restraint to portray explicit sex, adultery, rape, homo-sexuality, and all the trimmings of vulgar language, drunkenness, seduction, crime, drugs, brutality, prostitution, murder, and erotic behavior.
a. The soap operas that fill the TV screens throughout the day are just as bad as any x-rated movie.
b. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah! Gen. 19 and why it happened to them.
III. MAN DEVISES PLANS FOR EXALTING HIMSELF.
A. In the long ago, when the whole earth was of one language and one speech, people tried to build a city and a tower.
1. A part of their wicked design was, "Let us make us a name..." Gen. 11:4.
a. The unfinished tower of Babel reminds us of human pride.
b. Yes, men will go to great lengths in quest of name, fame, and renown. Mt. 23:12; Prov. 16:18; 29:23.
B. Matthew Henry, a great Bible scholar of long ago, said: "Affectation of honour and name among men commonly inspires with a strange ardour for great and difficult undertakings, and often betrays to that which is evil and offensive to God."
IV. MAN DEVISES PLOTS FOR COVERING HIS INIQUITY.
A. Although David began his reign as a man after God's own heart, he allowed wicked designs to corrupt his heart. 2 Sam. 11; 12:1-12; Psa. 139:1-12; Num. 32:23.
B. The wise man Solomon said: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whosoever confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy", Prov. 28:13.
V. MAN DEVISES FALSE RELIGIONS.
A. Jeroboam set up golden calves in Dan and Bethel and urged people of the Northern Kingdom that it was too far to go to Jerusalem to worship.
1. He ordained priests of the lowest of the people and initiated other changes in religion, 1 Kgs. 12:25-33.
a. His wicked religious system was designed to insure his reign.
b. All the future kings of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, followed in his steps thereby causing Israel to sin.
B. Men invent all manner of false doctrines. Gal. 1:6-10.
C. They preach whatever they please and tickle the ears of the hearers
1. Such are like the people of Jeremiah's time who said: 'We will walk after our own devices" , Jer. 18:12.
D. Jesus tells us that following man-made religions is vain. Mt. 15:7-9.
VI. MEN DEVISE IMAGINATIONS TO OVERTHROW GOD'S PURPOSES.
A. Haman devised an ugly plot to exterminate the Jewish race.
1. The Bible refers to it as "his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews", Esther 9:25.
2. But God providentially preserved the Jewish race and fulfilled His promise to bring the Messiah into the world through that race.
B. The Bible prophetically pictures the heathen as imagining a vain thing.
1. The kings and rulers taking counsel together against Jehovah and His Anointed One, Psa. 2; Acts 4:13-31.
a. But the likes of Judas, Annas, Caiphas, Herod, and Pilate could not defeat God's purposes!
VII. GOD'S COUNSEL. Prov. 19:21b.
A. The counsel of God stands firm while the plans, thoughts, and schemes of the human heart vacillate.
B. His counsel comes from His infinite wisdom.
C. What He teaches is right.
D. What He reveals is for our good always. Deut. 6: 24,25.
E. Let us believe and obey His will.
F. The Psalmist says: "The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to naught: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations", Psa. 33:10,11.
Are you willing to allow the Lord to direct your way while you are upon this earth or do you have your own devices that are from your own heart to direct you?
Remember, that there is a way that seemeth right to man, but the end thereof is the way of death.
Why not accept and obey the counsel of God today and lean not upon your own understanding?
By Jim Sasser
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