Last night I heard another message on Proverbs 29:18! -- But the preacher only read half of the verse. To me, this is taking the scripture out of it's context. The first part of the verse says: "Where there is no vision the people perish..." Based on this partial verse of Scripture, the preacher encouraged people to "have a dream" and to "dream big". Now - It is great to have good and positive goals which one wants to achieve in life. If we don't know where we are going we are not likely to get anywhere. If we are going to make a trip we need to know where we are going. If we do not plan ahead we will not likely achieve much in life. When an artist paints a picture, he usually visualizes the end results before he makes the first stroke on the canvass. If we build a house we must plan ahead so that we have enough materials to finish the job.
While I agreed with all of these things, most of which the preacher said well, I have to say that there is an important truth in this passage which most preacher's miss. We need to get the whole verse because the second half of this verse qualifies the first.
Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
What does it mean when the Bible says, "He that keepeth the law, happy is he."? I submit to you that if you do not have the law you do not have clear vision. It is the law of God that casts light on all of our plans. As the Bible says in Psalm 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." And again in Psalm 119:130 "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."
I have heard men say things like, "God gave me a vision and told me to do this but I don't see how I'm ever gonna pay for it!" I submit to you that if you cannot see how to accomplish it then you don't have vision. You cannot see - you are stumbling in the dark. You need to go and bury yourself in the Word of God until his law casts light upon your pathway and it gives you some know-how!
Let's say an artist is planning to paint a picture of Niagara Falls. He gets his large canvas ready. He has his painting coat on so as to get no paint on his clothes. He takes his stool and his easel and places them so that he has the view he wants of Niagara. Everything is in place ... but he has no paint! He had purchased everything needed to do this painting with - but without paint he cannot produce the picture he has in his mind unless he or someone purchases paint. There is a law for painters. If you are to create a painting, you must have paint. If you forget that law you cannot produce the picture.
Let's say a professional driver has the desire to drive from Miami to New York. He maps out his route, he gets his lunch, he plans his rest stops, he knows how to calculate his speed and knows how much fuel it will take to reach his destination. Yet, when the time comes, there is no fuel available. This law says when there is no fuel for your vehicle you had better not travel.
Yes, plan big! But please do not become a visionary. Look up the term in the dictionary.
I know this thought needs work - but I'm leaving this with you as is for now. If you want to, please feel free to study this subject and share your criticisms with me.
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- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.