Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 August 2022   Proverbs 29:18.

Proverbs 29:18.      Where there is no vision (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast of restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

And on this 31st day of August in the year of our Lord 2022, I want to wish a Happy 60th Independence Day to that fabulous twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the land of my birth! Now, the Jamaicans think they are the biggest and hottest thing since sliced bread, and they are good, I can talk from personal experience because that’s where, as the old people would say, I turned man, some fifty something years ago, but friends, there’s a quality in Trinbagonians that no one else in the world possesses. 

It seems like God put a spirit of mirth in the people of those twin islands in the sun! They have a sense of partying right at the front of their minds that no other nation has, always ready to make or play mas, and an instant camaraderie with anyone who wants to play along. It doesn’t take long to become friendly with a Trinbagonian. But their greatest gift is the expressing of heifer dust! Oh, nobody in this world could express heifer dust (S.T) like a T&T denizen! ( smile) Just go to any event, be it private or public, and once you hear heifer dust spilling out, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s a Trinbagonian! And if you have any Trinbagonian friends, you’d know that was the gospel truth. 

I don’t know why, but that truth stands out for me in one particular situation. Many years ago, I went to a local football (soccer) game in New York City, and was never more amazed when I heard the same sort of B.S. spilling out of the upper stands like you would hear in places like the Queen’s Park Oval or any soccer pitch in T&T. I don’t know why that surprised me, since I know we carry our traits with us wherever we go. I guess because it sounded so refreshing and unusual to hear it in the big city of New York. (smile) 

Anyhow, we all know that it’s been sixty hard years of slogging since independence, but we’ve made many improvements to the land and to the people, and let’s pray that with God’s grace we can do even better in the future. Now, please note I said with God’s grace, so that means we have to sincerely turn back to the God of our forefathers in worship and lifestyle, because we certainly cannot do it without Him on our side! Happy Independence Day T&T! 

That brings us to this word of warning from Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘Where there is no vision (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast of restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov, 29:18) And that’s more gospel truth my people! As the scholars explain. ‘Vision refers to the divine revelation received by the prophet. Morality is based on adherence to God’s revealed will.’ 

You see it in Moses being sent to teach the children of Israel how the Lord wanted them to live, and how quickly they moved away from the law while Moses was up on Mount Zion collecting the Ten Commandments. They found he was taking too long to come back down so they inveigled Aaron: ‘Up, make us gods (a god), which will go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of Egypt, we wot not (know not) what has become of him.’ (Ex. 32:1) And Aaron took all their gold jewelry and made them a molten calf to worship. And you can read how they displayed a complete lack of appreciation for God by worshipping the golden calf in the rest of Exodus 32. 

Then, later on, there’s the significant difference as offered by the Good Book in 1 Samuel, where it states: ‘And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious (rare) in those day; there was no open vision.’ (1 Sam. 3:1) In nations where God’s law isn’t upheld, where there is no moral restraint, the people run amok, do their own thing, apostasy is rampant and encouraged, like we’re seeing in today’s world. 

The scholars tell us, re that verse from Samuel. ‘The severity of Israel’s apostasy (cf. Judges 21:25) caused a dearth of God’s revelatory work. The condition was perpetuating and self-defeating (cf. Prov. 29:18). By God’s grace, the prophetic institution would receive renewed impetus and standardization in the person and work of Samuel. (cf. 3:21; 19: 20) It’s indeed terrible when a nation, a society, a people, don’t know and/or practice God’s word. 

And that reference from Judges brings it all to light. It says: ‘In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.’ (Judg. 21:25) No wonder the country was in such a sad state. And, unfortunately, that’s the way our world is currently trending; everybody wants to do their own thing, there’s no absolute right or wrong, except what we choose to acknowledge. And we can’t truly say that there’s been no prophetic revelation in the land, because there has been. God made Jesus the revelation of His will and word for all time. 

Listen to the author of Hebrews. ‘God, who at sundry times (in many portions), and in divers manners (many ways) spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (ages): Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ (Heb. 1:1-3) 

Yes friends, the Father has sent the Son to reveal Himself and His word to us. As the scholars explain: ‘The author immediately shows that Jesus Christ, as the agent of God’s revelation, is far superior to the Old Testament prophets. Their message was fragmentary and incomplete. It came bit by bit through visions, dreams, events, and direct communication as men were ready and able to receive it. Christ’s revelation is climactic and complete, because He is the Son and because His is the message for the last days. His incarnation initiated the end time, and it will be fulfilled when He returns to earth to reconcile and restore all things. (cf. Acts 2:16-17; 3:19-21; 1 Pet. 1:20).’ 

So, technically speaking, we don’t need any new revelation about God and His law, because we already have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in His Son Jesus Christ! And then we have preachers teaching us His word, so what else do we need to live right eh? As someone once said; what we need is a good boot in the tail, to make us wake up and take notice of our sad and sorry lives. And believe me, if the current atmosphere of disease, economic distress, climate change, a scourge of natural disasters, and the many other problems we’re currently enduring, don’t make us wake up and turn back to God, then we’ll not only perish spiritually, but eventually, also physically. 

Now, for those of us who are trying to live right, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And now, a gentle reminder, that if we endure to the end, that future we’re looking forward to, will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So please, let’s allow that to encourage us to stick with Jesus nuh! Much LOVE!

…we did not create ourselves…and thus cannot be a law unto ourselves… 

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