The proverb reads: “Where there is no vision….” (Proverbs 29:18). The lack of vision reflects a human dilemma. When I looked up from my morning run, I saw the rainbow – a divine sign promising God’s covenant with humanity (Gen. 9).
The rainbow reminded me of humanity’s faulty vision of society. The world’s presentation of the diversity-rainbow exemplifies the “no-vision” in Proverbs 29:18. The word “vision” means the lack of divine revelation. Another translation says, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (ESV). So, in other words, the “no vision” is the human denial, the mental disregard, and the social carelessness regarding any sense of a God-designed communication that should instead inspire accountability. The world prefers to defy the possibility of divine revelation.
The consequence of assuming there is no vision means that people perish to create boundaries in society. The word “vision” does not represent a human foresight for leadership but rather the divine revelation by a supernatural experience that moves the believer toward a spiritual God-driven life. The phrase “the people cast off restraint” means the world casts off a moral compass to create a means to protect the fleshly experiences that give them a facade of purpose.
Like the modern rainbow, a re-definition voids the original meaning. God’s vision revealed a promise of protection for humanity within the covenant relationship – a symbol of hope. Following God’s path creates a dwelling with a covenant-keeping God, and the rainbow reminds us that the disobedient will face judgment. Unfortunately, the world and the divine do not land on the same page regarding vision. The divine revelation defines God’s purpose; the world will desire to escape this dynamic by redefining biblical symbols to their comfortable liking. No vision is a human failure, but believers are most blessed when attending to what God revealed.
As the world casts off restraint, Islam embraces a counter perspective – a form of religious constraint. Like the world, they redefine and disregard the Word of God, the Bible. They redefine God’s vision; they place restrictions upon their community with new social regulations, which they call the Shariat law. Their religious words state they honor God’s Word but only mark the Bible as a symbol of respect and a book to avoid reading. They never categorized the Bible as a possible divine revelation for today. Muslims, known for their hospitality, fail in this regard when considering the Word of God (Bible). If I were respected as a guest in a Muslim home but not allowed to speak, I would question their sincerity and hospitality – likewise, they do not allow God’s Word to speak.
The proverb concludes, “but blessed is he who keeps the law.” The vision/revelation aligns with the divine principles that give believers inner happiness. The Spirit of God gives believers inner peace when we obey God’s Word. Keeping the Law affirms that the believer holds the Word of God as the guiding rule for life, a source of good news to share. I love the simplicity in the Pulpit Commentary, “Men cannot discover heavenly truth. It must be revealed. Without a vision from God the world is in spiritual darkness.” H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Proverbs, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 560. Despite their tremendous effort in self-amassing knowledge, humanity cannot discover divine truth without God.
Further insight comes from the Greek LXX, which says, “There shall be no interpreter (ἐξηγητὴς) to a sinful nation, but he that keepeth the Law is most blessed.” H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Proverbs, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 556. With complete carelessness, the world and Islam ignore the biblical revelation but instead choose to interpret their self-reliant vision. God reveals, and his Spirit interprets the heavenly truth. The Word of God was never sourced in an earthly vision nor allowed a worldly interpretation to provide excuses for behaviors that counter how God made us. For believers who follow the Word, blessedness results.
The world demonstrates human failure by pursuing a visionless path that only seeks out one’s self-interest. Islam disregards the vision by creating conformity for religious honor. Today, where a divine vision is intently kept, this revelation will result in life.
Check out The Costliness of Truth