Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
The question suggested by the text is, Can we see? Were we made to see? Is all else related by law of adaptation to man on this earth save God Himself who made the earth and man? It is vision that decides our scale in this world, and our honour and glory in the world to come. For "ages men have believed that they were made to see and know God in His works and in His Word; that we have not only eyes, but objects; that we can hold intercourse with God — love Him, trust Him, and pray to Him. The peril of our age is no new peril. Materialism is as old as Sadducean Judaism. This is the great vital difference in men — vision. This it is that decides their principles, their ethics, their characters.
I. MATERIALISTIC IDEAS OF LIFE BLIND US TO THE TRUE VISION. We are in a world of material things. But we, Christians, build temples to the invisible Lord. We seek and we worship a Saviour whom, not having seen, we love. We judge morality to be more than utility. We walk by faith, not by sight. There is no true vision without the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
II. CHRIST IS THE REVEALER OF LIFE AND IMMORTALITY. These words contain two distinct truths. Life is the spiritual view of all things. Immortality is life in Christ beyond the grave.
III. CHARACTER IS DECIDED BY OUR VISIONS OF TRUTH. The right life comes from the right thought. If my life is to be redeemed and moulded by Divine influences, then my vision is all in all to me.
IV. PERISHING IS SEEN IN THIS PRESENT LIFE. Men do perish! Compared with what you might be, you are now perishing. Woe to that nation that has no eye to see the face of God in Christ!
(W. M. Statham.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.