Summary: In the scriptural context this verse refers to the consequences of a spiritual lack of vision regarding God’s redemptive revelation.
SPIRITUAL VISION IMPAIRMENT
"Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed(happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he." Proverbs 29:18 (AMP)
Proverbs 29:18 has often been used to refer to the consequences of not looking beyond the circumstances of the moment, often applying this text to national, personal, local church situations, etc. No one would question that such applications can justifiably be applied in an alternate or secondary manner. But in the scriptural context it refers to the consequences of a spiritual lack of vision regarding God’s redemptive revelation. It is this spiritual vision deficiency or impairment that we will address today. We are all familiar with cataracts that affect the physical eyes. We will use this analogy in today’s message.
The message of the redemptive power of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is sounded throughout the land through our pulpits, TV, radio, books, tracts, etc. This being true, why should the spiritual vision of so many be impaired?
I. SOME REASONS WHY SPIRITUAL VISION IMPAIRMENT EXISTS:
The spiritual “cataracts” of mistaken priorities. This happens when we do not “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Matt. 6:33.
It may be the “cataract” of worldly pleasures: Paul wrote: “For Demus has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” (2 Timothy 4:10)
It may be the “cataract” of worldly recognition: Jesus said: “Take heed that you do not your charitable deeds before men, to be seen of them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matt. 6:1
It may be the “cataract” of worldly gain. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul.” Matthew 16:26
II. AREAS OF SPIRITUAL VISION WHERE WE NEED TO SEE CLEARLY:
Our internal vision:
We have all heard it said that we should try to see ourselves as others see us, but what we really need to do is to see ourselves as God sees us! The Bible says: “…for man looks at the out-ward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Our vertical vision:
We spend so much time looking around us that we don’t find the time to look up! Isaiah said: “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple.” Isaiah 6:1.
Our horizontal vision:
We need to see mankind in their need of salvation; their need of fellowship with God and His church; and their material needs. James wrote: “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:15-17
Our peripheral vision:
Paul admonished Timothy to “be watchful in all things.” (2 Timothy 4:5) Peter adds an additional warning to the "elect" (1 Peter 1:2) that appertains to this aspect of our spiritual vision. "Be sober, be vigilant:because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)