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. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.(Genesis 6:5-6)
We have been looking at the universal conditions that led directly to the flood , in the “days of Noah”, because Jesus told us that this same state of affairs will be duplicated in some way at the time of the Parousia, and the final judgment of this world. “As in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be…” at the end of this age, according to the Saviour.
We have thus far considered six of the stated conditions; 1) A population explosion, 2) Rapid progress in technology, science and the arts, 3) A complete disregard for the original ideal of marriage, 4) the blurring of the distinction between the people of God and the world, 5) the rejection of a line of preachers of righteousness and judgment, and finally in the last article we discussed 6) violence covering the earth.
We come to another startlingly modern sign of the days of Noah, the fact that in those days God said, 7) The thoughts and Imaginations of mens hearts were only evil continually.
Imagination is a God-given attribute, part of the Image of God with which we were created. We men and women can conceptualize, and picture in our minds almost limitless possibilities. By Imagination we are able to create, plan, foresee, and visualize. We can dream and fantasize in our hearts for both good and evil purposes.
But Jesus warned us that because of the fall of man and the subsequent corruption of our nature, , the things which proceed from the heart, are what defile us,
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.( Mark 7:20-23)
The human heart has become an “Idol factory” according to one of the reformers, for fallen men are constantly devising Images unworthy of God or of those bearing the likeness of God. Those self conceived Images, formed by the deceitful lusts of the heart, shape and guide men, away from God, and after their fallen desires.
People tend to follow their most cherished inner concept ,the Image of what they love, the ideal that they regard as the most beautiful, whether it be the Image of ‘world peace’, Utopia, the vision of Humanism, Islam or communism, (in fact all “Isms” are actually man-made idols, rivals to God and His plan for the world). This is why it is so important to love and seek the “only True God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent”.
When there is enough peace, prosperity and leisure, men tend to have more time to devote to the development of their imaginations, and Images. In the days of Noah and even in the days of Lot, Jesus tells us that people were
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (Luke 17:26-28)
The people of Noah’s day had the time to indulge in Imagination. Obviously they weren’t living ‘hand to mouth’, there was a vibrant economy, people got into trade, food, entertainment, the arts, drink, relationships. None of these things is evil in itself, but note the absence of God in their actions and thoughts. When left to themselves, the imaginations of men tend towards evil.
What we are living in now is a revolution of the indulgence of human Imagination. Our technology facilitates it. Most people who have ever lived could not have conceived of Radio, let alone television! Think of what the television revolution has done to the imaginations of modern man. People can get lost in a soap opera or a sitcom, they can become fascinated by a movie or documentary.
Even more so than radio and television is the explosion of technology that allows one to privately screen any movie he wants, anytime he wants, put the ‘buds’ in his ears, tune everyone else out, and to immerse oneself in story after story, meditating the contrived, special effected imaginations of hollywood directors and screen writers for hours without interruption.
Rarely is the question asked, “What becomes of the soul which has immersed him or herself into the Imaginations of degenerates such as Spike Lee, Quenton Tarantino, or even Mel Gibson?” Thousands of titles of blood soaked, gratuitously violent, blasphemous, sexual provocative films are constantly on call for PC users, who no longer need to think, but can at will enter into other worlds for hours at a time.
Perhaps more ominously are the computer games which millions of people have plunged their minds, hearts, affections and hours of time into. One doesn’t merely play board games, such as Chess or Stratego with a friend anymore. Such were the leisure pursuits of the past.
Now, with the flip of a switch one enters through imagination, into the killing fields of World War 2 or into a bizarre fantasy world of witches, warlocks, dragons, spells and curses, or into a football arena, a boxing ring , or a Colliseum .
Many of the more sensationally violent crimes , such as the recent school or theater shootings which have stunned and rocked us for the last fifty years, have been committed by mentally ill loners, often on prescription medication, and often hopelessly addicted to video games, many of which consist of the vicarious experience of going from room to room, and shooting at close range the virtual enemies who pop out at them.
Through our modern technology, millions have entered completely into Evil Imaginations, they now have the tools to escape from the burden of from any painful contemplation, and conviction from an uneasy conscience that all is not well.
Through their iTunes lists, or selection of movies or hours of video games, such thoughts don’t even stand a chance of entering their minds. They have already preprogrammed their thoughts, and are in danger of putting themselves out of reach of recovery.
What is it that many of these millions have fixed their minds on? Go walk through a video game store, and you will see shelf after shelf of evil. The occult, witchcraft, Grand theft Larceny games, where one can role play at being a pimp, a gangster, a Pirate, or whatever evil you can ‘imagine’ it is all available, and widely used.
Have you seen what is popular on I Tunes? All of the soul-destroying trash from the sixties and seventies is now regarded as quant, and mainstream music. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Styx, indeed ll of the drug promoting, occult based “rock and Roll” that churches once warned about and exposed is now as popular as ever thanks to the new technology.
We are rapidly approaching the frightening point reffered to in Genesis, where “Mens hearts are continually set on evil”. At least before, this shift in technology in the field of entertainment, it would have been impossible to constantly be distracted and amused by faxt moving, high quality Images. People had to think.
But we have created a highly entertaining, completely immersing world of constantly shifting images, many of which draw their inspiration from the occult, or various violent scenarios, wherein it could truly be said that of a good many, “The imaginations of men’s hearts became continually evil”.