Summary: The vision carried out in modern preaching of today, is not so much a stimulation but to act as a restraining force to stem the tide of wickedness and destruction.
The majority of the sermons of Rev. Raymond Williams comes from the sermon notes he preached from and are not always fluid.
Where is the Visionaries Today?
Proverbs 29:7-18; Text verse 18: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Another translation of this text: “Where there is no one in authority, the people speak loose…
This an oft quoted text, just as oft preached, has a scope without limits, offering so much more than just meets the eye.
Vision – Webster defines as a word with many shades of meaning. “Visual Image” without corporal presence; “object of imaginative contemplation (example: visions of wealth)”; “something seen otherwise than the original sight”; “something beheld as in a dream”; “power or activity of the imagination”; “unusual discernment or foresight (example: man of vision)”.
Taking men such as Ezekiel, Daniel, Zachariah, we can say that in the ecstatic sense, they were visionary. But what of something that is “unusual discernment” which was no less a part of their prophetic equipment, for as one reads of each did not God leave a lot to good common sense and judgement, natural powers, ability to understand the signs of the times and thus able to read the handwriting on the wall, and warn of impeding woe to fall on the people in judgment?
This is ability and vision not just for the OT prophet but is also for the NT prophet as well.
I ask you now: IS THERE NOT A NEED FOR THE USE OF STRONG UNADULTERATED, PROPHETIC PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD “THUS SAYTH THE LORD” TODAY?
Look if you will to the latter part of the text. God shines bright on what we can call “Saving Vision”. Where such does not take place, the people perish (left naked). Understand that Hebrew word for perish is the same as used in Leviticus 21:10, where high priest were forbidden to remove turbans and thus “let their hair down.”
So literally we have this meaning, “Where there is no vision, people cast of restraint.” The Berkeley version: “Where there is no vision the people run wild.”
So in this light, can we not say that vision carried out in modern preaching of today, is not so much a stimulation but to act as a restraining force to stem the tide of wickedness and destruction.
Let me illustrate with the case of forging of the golden calf as told in Exodus 32.
Moses up on Mt. Sinai to receive the tablets of stone. He and Joshua descended, they heard a noise in the camp. Now it was not the sound they first thought, but they found it to be the senseless mirth of a crowd allowed to run wild. A crowd who, “sat down to eat and to drink and then give themselves up to revelry.” (Leviticus 32:6).
The Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth had much to say, “These events happened as symbols to warn us not to set our desires on evil things, as they did”. (I Corinthians 10:6)
Moses reacted, (righteous anger illustrated) “and when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (naked) for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies.” (Exodus 32:25). I ask, can this not be literal as well as spiritual, in that the people lay themselves open to the judgement of God? Consider the styles (clothes and apparel) of today, and men I am talking to you as well as the women on this matter.
The responsibility was Aaron’s to see that the people kept faith with what was known to be the dictates of God thru Moses. Looking at the result of his failure, 3,000 would not have died that day.
You say, “Preacher! Does this apply for today? How does it parallel current history?
The Church, her pulpit (Clergy) is the conscience of the land and is front and center of all the land. So as a nation or a person violates its conscience, or if the conscience fails to speak up, “THAT PEOPLE IS IN VERY GREAT PERIL”.
I say to you that the pulpits of this nation should be the most powerful for righteousness in human society.
Beloved: before the fault is laid at the feet of evil and corrupt politicians and lawmakers, let us take a step backward and see if the apostacy of today does not lie in fact and part to a luke-warm, insipid pulpit. One evangelist made this statement: “WHEREVER APOSTOLE PAUL PREACHED, THERE WAS EITHER A RIOT OR A REVIVAL:
What’s being preached today.... they serve pink tea.” When I examine myself under this light, I realize that I am lacking much of the time.
Beloved: the most bitter bondage under which one can live is that bondage to the desires of the moment. “IF YOU DWELL WITHIN THIS REVELATION I HAVE BROUGHT YOU, YOU ARE INDEED MY DISCIPLES; YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE …. IN TRUTH I TELL YOU … THAT EVERYONE WHO COMMITS SIN IS A SLAVE …. IF THEN THE SON SETS YOU FREE, YOU WILL BE FREE INDEED” (John 8:31-36)