“Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18, NASB95)
For many, a new year denotes a new start. Many start taking assessments of what was accomplished or not at the end of the current year so that they can plan what goals they want to reach in the new year. Goals are written and plans are made – but regretfully, many years end up just like the previous one. I am convinced that is because people are attempting to develop what is already available – a roadmap by which all believers should live by.
Proverbs 29:18 is one of the most misinterpreted Scriptures in the Bible. Due to its English translation in 1611, many believe that it means that if a person has not created a clear plan or dream to strive for, that person has nothing to live for. That interpretation causes one to miss the whole point of the proverb. In short, the passage means that if the Revelation of God’s Word that a person receives is not applied to their lives, the person’s life will have no restraint – uncontrolled, undisciplined, confused, disorderly and rebellious. In other words, the person is not leadable or teachable! For a picture of a society in which unrestrained living occurred, read Romans 1:18-32.
When we live a life out of control, we become the butt of the devil’s jokes! Look at Exodus 32. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after receiving the Law from God, the people of God created their own rules and formed a replacement “god” to worship in the image of a calf. In Ex. 32:25, the Bible declares that Aaron let the people get out of control to be a derision (translated from the Hebrew word that means the same as LAUGHINGSTOCK) before their enemies! When we do not apply the Word of God to our lives, the devil laughs at us!
But when we apply God’s precepts to our lives, we WILL be happy! It is not enough to hear the Word – we must apply it! Psalms 119:4-5 (NASB95) reads, “You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently. Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes!” We should strive to keep the Word of God and willingly submit to His precepts. God sees, values and blesses the person who leads a good life by applying His Word!