Today’s Blog: Quibbling or Re-calibrating?
TODAY’S PROVERB: Where there is no divine vision people cast off restraint, but blessed is the one who keeps Torah [the Law]. Proverbs 29:18, TLV
This little proverb is one of the most misused passages in the Bible. Really. Respected leaders have used this verse out-of-context as the bases for their church and/or ministry vision statements. Typically they will use the translation: Where there is no vision, the people perish . . . And then “blink” past the second half of the verse.
For the most part, their interpretation of vision is GOD-inspired, but nonetheless self-generated goal used to incite passion or a dream for expansion or growth. The leader “receives” the vision and builds based on that understanding.
While their congregation and/or ministry may have the greatest of intentions — and their “vision” is worthwhile — their divine “compass” is a few degrees off “true North.”
It is said, “Scripture interprets Scripture.” Which means all Biblical text must be kept in context or we can misunderstand, or worse, miss the real meaning — or truth — of a passage.
The word in question is the Hebrew word, chazon. Which means divine vision or prophecy. Divine as in GOD’s vision — not GOD-inspired.
Does it seem like I’m quibbling over a minor interpretation flaw? I hope not. Over the years, I’ve learned that a few degrees off true north on a compass will, over time, take us somewhere we never intended.
Thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot [LORD OF HOSTS]: “Do not listen to the words of prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into illusion, speaking a vision of their own heart and not out of the mouth of Adonai.“JEREMIAH 23:16, TLV [EMPHASIS MINE]
Passages such as Jeremiah 23:16, should give us pause.
The second half of today’s proverb gives us the context of chazon: “. . . but blessed is the one who keeps the Law.” The context is our Heavenly Father’s vision for a righteous people has been ignored and people are running amok. The people have cast off restraint. But those who keep the Law will be blessed.
We live in a world of convenience. We can glide through commentaries and find passages we’re looking for in seconds. However, “living” GOD’s word has become quaint. Taking the time to savor a truth within the whole of Scripture is relegated to scholars bent over musty books.
GOD’s Word is Alive!
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword—piercing right through to a separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.HEBREWS 4:12, TLV
We can live in His divine vision every single day by living in His word. Those of us on the Wisdom Journey are doing that, but there is so much more.
Those of you who have walked this Journey with me know that living His word keeps us calibrated to true North. We all need re-calibration from time to time. As we learn new insights, we shift that pointer and continue — all the wiser and grateful.