Today's devotion from Proverbs 28 and 29.
I remember one time, when I was young, a teacher gave me a puzzle and said to solve it. I had no idea what the puzzle was supposed to look like, so I just started putting pieces together. I could tell that it was an animal, but that was it. After a few moments, I had an incredibly ugly giraffe, which was, in fact, after a few modifications a rather decent horse.
One of those verses that has taken on a life of its own reads, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18, KJV) This verse has been used by many as the platform from which they launch reform or attack. The idea behind its use comes from a misconception of exactly which vision the author is speaking of. Some pastors have taken this verse to mean their vision for leading the church. However, this verse is not talking about a building campaign or a transition in church structure.
This verse is talking about a prophetic vision. Now, what does this mean? For the answer, one need only look at the context. What is the rest of the verse? Read it again, "Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law." (Proverbs 29:18, ESV) This is not talking about man's vision for adding a second service, but about God's revealed Word. It is talking about God's design for Creation.
If you expand your study, you'll see many verses in this chapter that hit at moderation, restraint, and God's design. These verses provide the greater context for this verse. The author is stating that without God's revealed design, we would be doomed. Without His Word to guide us we would certainly drift toward the chaos and self-destruction desired by the sin within us.
The verse presents a choice: destruction or law. For this reason, we must be students of the directions given to us. Without devoting ourselves to God's written revelation, we have no idea what the puzzle that is our life is supposed to look like. Maybe your life looks like a rather ugly giraffe? What if you could watch Him make the changes necessary to turn it into exactly what it is supposed to be? What if you had His vision?