Where There Is No Vision

Read: Judges 21:20-25

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint. (Prov. 29:18)

Around the time of our church’s 100th anniversary, the congregation decided to remodel and expand the building. Outside the new entrance they built a substantial sign engraved with the words, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”—quoting Proverbs 29:18 in the King James Version. The quote suggests the idea that we need to expand our view of the possible, that we should imagine what could be, rather than merely settle for what is.

That may very well be true, but it’s not what our proverb is saying. A more accurate translation helps in understanding the meaning. What the proverb is saying is that without the Word of God, people will do whatever they please. No “prophetic vision” in Old Testament terms means no biblical preaching and teaching, no Bible reading, Bible hearing, Bible believing, Bible obeying. When a society casts away God’s revelation, it casts off all restraint. The result is social chaos. It’s like the book of Judges—everybody does what seems right in their own eyes (21:25).

Is there a more accurate description of the world we live in? When people do whatever they please, things don’t get better, they get worse. People don’t become happier, they grow bored, disillusioned, and depressed. They turn on each other. If you think following your own way instead of God’s way is the path to personal happiness, just look around. —David Bast

As you pray, ask God to guide you in following his Word.

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.