Are Your Thoughts Futile?


by Wayne S. Walker

      “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile” (Psalm 94:11). Psalm 94 is given the heading in the New King James Version of “God the Refuge of the Righteous.” The Psalmist begins by saying, “O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs–O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!” (v. 1). The next few verses asks the Lord to the wicked. It is in this context that he says, “the thoughts of man…they are futile.” 

     Thus, the passage does not mean that all thoughts of all men are always futile. Rather, the Psalmist is talking about “all the workers of iniquity” who “break in pieces” the Lord’s people (vs. 4-5). What the passage is saying is that when our thoughts are on those things to which the Lord is opposed, they are futile. That is why we are told, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

     However, when our thoughts are consistent with that which is right in God’s sight, then they are not futile. How can we know if our thoughts are acceptable to the Lord? “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–mediate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Our thoughts can be either futile or godly. We make the choice.


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