(Proverbs 29:18) Where there is no vision, the people perish….
One of the things I love about the Bible is that it allows one to personalize it without compromising its truth. For example, our text says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” but the Vulgate Latin version renders it, “Where there is no prophecy the people perish”. The word prophecy is actually the correct word rather than the word “vision” even though there is a place where both words come together.
The word prophesying in the New Testament is often interchangeable with the word preach and therefore signifies public ministry. That being the case then what our text is really saying is if the Word of God is not preached or taught then the people perish because of a lack of spiritual food. One cannot exist without natural food and neither can one exist spiritually without spiritual food (the Word).
There is actually nothing wrong when one changes the word “prophecy” to “vision” if it helps fulfill the call of God in one’s life.
The word “vision” denotes looking forward rather than backward and therefore helps develop a healthy mind through stretching and strategizing. If such a practice is not done then the results are like putting one’s brain in neutral and therefore producing atrophy of the brain.
When one continues to talk about their past rather than their future then that would imply they see little hope for their future.
Leaving home at the age of twelve as a result of a horrendous past my future looked dismal to say the least. However, all along my wondering way I met a lot of wonderful folks who wanted to be my mother and father. Even though I only stayed with most of them for a short period of time I think I am actually a product of all of them.
As I look back I can see how God carefully put me under the influence of each one of those wonderful people for my own development.
All of them seem to have two things in common whether they were rich or poor. Number one, all of them were forward thinkers and number two, all of them saw a potential in me that was far beyond the realm of thinking for my little mind. As a result of their faith and confidence in me the sting of my past was eventually washed away. Hence I became a forward thinker just like them.
When I first ran away I met a couple of little widows who wanted me to stay with them…so I did. Even though I was only with them for a short period of time they had a tremendous impact on my life. As a matter of fact I am still discovering the depths of that impact to this day.
I learned that it is good to occasionally remember ones past as long as it is used as a springboard for learning and for propelling one into greater depths of faith and hope for the future. However, if one’s memories are more powerful than one’s dreams then that could sabotage one’s future as well as sabotage the future of the next generation.
As a result of people such as the little widows I have also become a dreamer like Joseph. In other words I have learned that if one’s dreams do not scare them then their dreams are too small. After all, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
My conclusion is that in spite of one’s upbringing, or the lack there of, that God has built in buffers for each of us such as the little widows were to me. What I learned from the experiences of the multitude of moms and dads (the built in buffers) in my life was priceless and I am blessed.
Thank You for the nourishment in the sustaining food of “vision” because without it, I would surely perish. Help me Lord to release an ever unfolding revelation to others as these two little women did for me.