Well, here we go again! It looks like I am stuck on another verse of scripture. I haven’t been able to take my eyes off of Proverbs 29:18 since Monday! The more I study this word of the Lord the more I see just how prophetic this verse is to my life personally and to society today as well. The Contemporary English Version brings a very current twist to this word declaring: “Without guidance from God, law and order disappear, but God blesses everyone who obeys his law.”
An interesting aspect of this prophecy is that the word translated “law” does not only refer to the Old Testament Law that God gave to the Israelites, or as a type and shadow of Israel, the Church today through the New Testament Gospels and epistles, but can also refer to “a precept or statue” or any “body of legal directives.” (Strong’s and Brown-Driver-Briggs) In other words, it could also refer to the governmental law of the land.
So, as I watched a news program the other night, a little bell went off inside of me when I found myself shaking my head in confusion while I heard of some individual states in our Union that are openly defiant when it comes to following the legal statutes of Federal Law… with one state going so far as to threaten to persecute people in that state who follow those laws in the performance of their daily responsibilities… Huh? What’s going on here?
Some legislators are talking about a coming Constitutional crisis. I can’t help but think about a similar time in the mid-1800’s that led to a very divisive, deadly and economically devastating civil war in our country! What are these people thinking? What is driving this rebellion… “Ding!” … Proverbs 29:18 states that... “Without prophetic vision people run wild…” (God’s Word ©) Other versions say that without God’s guidance “the people will lose self-control” (ERV) or “cast off restraint” (ESV) or as our main verse today declares “law and order disappear.”
As more people turn away from the precepts in God’s Word what we are seeing today can only get worse! But don’t panic just yet! There is hope… There is the Church of Jesus Christ and strong and knowledgeable Christians who not only study and live the standards as found in His Word, but champion a life-style that differs from, challenges and overcomes the anti-God, secular ways of the world.
I am totally convinced that the man and woman of God who stays sensitive to the ways of God and is walking in active faith in the directives that the Lord is giving to them will always make decisions that will eventually prove to be of better common sense than those who strictly go by their intellect. Intellect makes decisions on what an individual can see in the natural. While a born-again Christian who is regularly seeking and staying in-tune to the things of God has the Almighty working for him or her.
The Christian takes steps of faith based not on what they may see around them, but based on the truth, faithfulness and love of God. And although they may not see the conclusion of their steps and realize that their steps may not make much sense according to needs of the current situation, they trust in the One who sees the whole picture and knows how everything will come together… step by step, “from faith to faith!” (Romans 1:17 KJV)
Piper and I have seen this unfold a great multiplicity of times in our lives where we received some major persecution when the steps we took in what we believed to be in obedience to God’s directives did not seem to make good sense at the time. But in looking back today, we can see how each step was part of God’s divine puzzle for the final outcome of what He had planned for us!
Our trust in Him always comes from our knowledge of His will for us as found in His Word… within the pages of our personal Bibles. I was trying to remember the exact wording of a particular scripture the other night as I was helping Piper to bed and couldn’t find what I was looking for in the modern translation I keep at my bedside.
Then I remembered Piper’s long-time friend… her King James Study Bible that we keep on her bed stand. And while that volume hasn’t seen a lot of activity over the last few years, a wave of joy, comfort and peace flooded my soul as I went right to the verse I was desiring to read to her and discovered her wonderful handwriting in the margin of the page with personal notes about the verse!
I’m not sure if this is weird… but there is nothing better to each of us than holding and reading from our personal and well-used and worn Bibles. I still get flutters inside when I refer back to the first Study Bible I bought in the 1980’s (It’s actually the first Bible I ever bought for myself – the leather cover was so worn out that I had to get a Bible cover to preserve the material and binding!) It is loaded with my hand scribbled notes, underlining and highlighting and brings back fond memories and revelations from those days!
How do you think about your Bibles… or of the special revelations you’ve had during church or personal study times? Maybe this weekend is the time to revive the adventures that can only be experienced within the pages of God’s Word! Have a terrific weekend, and as you do, keep telling yourself… “How much of an adventure am I expecting to have as I study God’s Word today?”