Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Proverbs 29:18, KJV*
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
Proverbs 29:18, NIV**
When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
Proverbs 29:18, NLT***
Interesting nuances in the translations of this verse. The opening phrase is what’s on my mind today, with the vision / revelation / divine guidance – that which we need to not only receive but accept and obey.
I usually think of this verse in terms of direction and planning: of a corporate sense of purpose. But God’s been suggesting to me that there’s more to vision than just seeing the next step in His plan.
There’s seeing Him.
Not literally – not yet – but seeing, believing, accepting His revelation of who He is. His character. His attributes. His promises, laws and requirements.
Do we really know Him? Or are we distracted by the pain or pleasure in our own small lives? Too often the problems look bigger than the God who can solve them. Or we pray for help but don’t really believe things will change, because we don’t see them changing.
Instead, we need to see God.
At Other Food: daily devos, Violet Nesdoly often quotes J.I. Packer’s classic, Knowing God (affiliate link for The Word Guild). I received a copy for Christmas, and God is using the opening chapters to reinforce what He’s been saying to me about my need to actually see Him – to know Him rather than just knowing about Him. To believe Him instead of believing whatever stress is currently staring me down.
Holy and mighty God, You spoke the universe into being and You proved Yourself as Israel’s King and defender. You haven’t changed. Reveal Yourself to Your people today as we live among people who reject You and who are indeed casting off restraint and running wild. Guide us. Strengthen us. Give us a glimpse of who You really are, so we can stand in firm confidence in You, so that others will see You too.
Paul Baloche’s “Open the Eyes of My Heart” is a good prayer for today.
*King James Version (KJV) Public domain.
**New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
***New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.