By Keith Robinson
Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” is often cited to encourage long range planning, discernment, goal setting and imaginative dreaming. The church of the Lord certainly needs people of vision and imagination, but this is not the subject addressed in the passage in Proverbs. The New King James Version gives a clearer rendition of the passage: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.”
In a society more and more dominated by worldly standards and less and less influenced by God’s word (revelation), we as the people of God desperately need to reaffirm our unconditional surrender to God’s divine revelation. When the word of God (revelation) is not faithfully upheld, behavior deteriorates, standards are ignored, principles are disregarded, all restraints are thrown off and every person becomes a law to himself. It happens in a society, and if we give in to that influence, it will happen to us. But if we know and respect the law of the Lord (revelation), as stated in the latter half of proverbs 29:18, happiness (blessedness) will prevail.
What do I really want for me and my family: the chaos of anarchy, rebellious children, an unfaithful spouse, broken homes and broken lives, bitter disappointment, dashed dreams and demolished hopes? If I exclude revelation (God’s word) from my life, pain and sorrow will inevitably result. If, on the other hand, I want what all of us say we want—peace, love, warmth, fulfillment, happiness and hope—making God’s word the focal point of my life will produce these guaranteed results.
What a pity! Every person on God’s planet is within ready reach of a rewarding, happy life of peace and security. The solution is as simple as taking God’s word and making it the guide of our lives. All the psychologists, all the self-help books, all the seminars in the world will not produce for us what we really want if the word of God is absent. And all the recessions, all the famines, all the disasters in the world cannot destroy our happiness if God’s word is present and active in our lives.
-Keith Robinson, Little Rock, Ark.; via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com