The Vitality of Vision
Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.

I. WHERE THERE IS NO VISION OF THE PRESENT WORKING OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD, CHARITY AND HOPE FADE. The progress of the age is Christ's work. Beneficial operations of all kinds are His present-day miracles. The sympathy of the age, its mission, its humanity, its sacrifice, its enthusiasm for progress, is Christ's doing. Let us see Him in the past and in the present. Then we shall have a nobler faith, a larger charity, and a radiant hopefulness.

II. WHERE THERE IS NO VISION OF THE DIVINE FATHERHOOD, DEVOTION DECAYS. Our devotional life accords with the conception of God we hold up to our attention. If we think of God as stern, arbitrary, partial, we cannot experience love, worship, trust, sacrifice. The human heart is constituted to love only the lovable; to worship only the perfect and benevolent; to trust only the just and true.

III. WHERE THERE IS NO VISION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, PRACTICAL ENERGY DECLINES. Give up the idea of a Supreme Mind caring for all, and life is not Worth living. Let the vision of the all-embracing providence of God be clear, and life will be transfigured. All Christian workers are thus sustained. Failure, loss, rejection, may be the record on the visible side; but faith sees on the unseen side an all-comprehending spiritual kingdom, and says, "All things work together for good."

IV. WHERE THERE IS NO VISION OF TRUTH AND FACT, KNOWLEDGE DECAYS. As tradition and conservation prevail truth becomes a dead carcase. The hour for revival, for reform, is come, and the minds that see the truth lead the new movement. The dreams of seers renew the life of the world's thought.

V. WHERE THERE IS NO VISION OF THE POSSIBILITIES OF HUMAN NATURE, SYMPATHY DECAYS. Man has instinctively recognised his fellow as spiritual, as free, as immortal, as possessing unlimited capacities of progress, and as the object, consequently, of intense interest and of unlimited love. The vision of that ideal of man is the inspiration of all philanthropy.

VI. WHERE THERE IS NO VISION OF DUTY, HOLINESS DECLINES. Man is the subject of relations. The highest relation he maintains is to Christ. His life-care is the duty he owes to Christ. As we have that vision before us, we shall ennoble all we do. VII. THE VISION OF HEAVEN SAVES HOPE FROM PERISHING. The inspiration of all progress is hope. The most fruitful hope we can cherish is the perfection of mankind in the celestial life in fellowship with Christ. Such a vision ennobles, sanctifies, vitalises, lights up the present with heavenly radiance, and makes death the gate of life.

(T. Matthews.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

WEB: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but one who keeps the law is blessed.

The Soul Perishing for Lack of Vision
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