Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18(KJV)
In Proverbs 29 the writer deals with discipline and its effects. He talks of disciplining children and employees, and also lays-out the disastrous consequences of ignoring that discipline.
The text uses two words that open the entire train of thought, vision or divine guidance, and perish, which is a word picture of a usually tame animal running wild. A modern day picture would be a locomotive, with all its power, off the track and headed for destruction.
Vision comes from two basic words in Hebrew which mean to see, and restriction. Prophets are people who "see". In ancient times they were even called "seers". In this case, revelation, or vision is seeing the restrictions. It has to do with discipline.
Paraphrased we could say: "When the people are not seeing things that should properly restrict, then they run amok, unrestrained." The Proverb writer knew in his heart that God requires humans to observe the restrictions placed upon them. It is then, and only then that we can live a meaningful life.
At one point in Alice in Wonderland she asks the Cheshire cat: Would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?"
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, the cat replied.
I don't care much where, Alice says.
Then it doesn't matter which way you go, says the cat.
I really think the writer of Proverbs could have ghost-written the Cheshire Cat’s dialogue. The Proverb text declares a real human goal, to see the discipline, the restrictions of God, because without it we won’t get anywhere.
Over the next couple of days we want to see from this text some plain Axioms, eternal truths that cannot change, and which, if we apply them to life will bless our days.
Let me restate Solomon’s proverb for the 21st century:
Where we cannot see the compelling logic, and overwhelming evidence of God's prior claim on our lives, we will scatter and not serve Him. Proverbs 29:18
And now let me give you what Jesus had to say about seeing:
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12(NLT)
So…say it simply, preacher: God owns us, and He expects us to serve Him. From this main thrust we can see a few other related truths....
1. WE ARE EXPECTED TO BE DISCIPLINED SO WE'LL GROW
In every area of life there is a discipline in which to enter for the purpose of becoming more proficient. A child obeys parents to learn wisdom and grow. A worker learns new developments in his field to serve his employer. A leader studies trends to understand the marketplace. And in the spiritual realm, believers study scripture, worship often, give, and serve so that they will become mature parts of the body of Christ. The alternative is staying as a spiritual infant.
In the book All God's Chillun the author recounts when his little 2½ year-old daughter was chastised for some little wrong, she used to say: It was not I who did that; that was another little girl in me. Failing to accept responsibility for growing as believers is destructive. Chaos is not a good thing in any area of life. The word perish in Proverbs 29 could very well be translated chaos. Discipline changes the chaos of life into stable growth for a strong body.
Got any chaos in your life? Any idea how to change all that?