18 ¶ Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Although this verse can be and has been used in a number of different ways, including preaching that without a view of who they are, what their standards are, what they believe in, and where they are going a nation, our nation usually, will fall.
The literal meaning here can be linked to another verse that speaks of no vision from God.
Lamentations 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.
For a people who claim to belong to God, to insist upon His mercies and His blessing, as in the putting up of “God bless America” without any real devotion to God but just presuming upon Him and assuming we’re special is a sick joke of monumental proportions and an insult to the Creator of all things.
More specifically, for Christians to treat God as no more than an idea, a force, or a vague standard for sermon on the mountish behavior if you’re left leaning and ten commandment style thus saith the lord behavior on the right is an affront to God.
Americans have created at an American god, dressed like the cartoon character Captain America, believing that a thing is good just because we did it, following our government like sheep either to moral bankruptcy at home or perpetual war abroad or both. America is perishing not because of homosexuals or abortion or single mothers or Marxists but because Christians sit numbly in the pews each week if they go to meet with a church body at all and have no concept of the real person of God.
There is no real relationship with a risen Saviour in the lives of many so called Christians, if not in the majority of them. We are not ancient Hebrews under the Law, for certain, as Paul makes it clear on several occaisions, not the least of which is this one in his statement on the ultimate equality of all Christians eliminating ethnic, social, and gender distinctions;
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Even those who call themselves Fundamentalists, who insist that they believe the Bible literally, act as if they are worshipping a God out of a Hollywood script following someone who sounds strangely like Charleton “Moses” Heston in a beard and sandals speaking very slowly and ominously as the waters of the Red Sea close on the Pharaoh or a Max “Jesus from The Greatest Story Ever Told” Von Sydow talking like he’s had too many valiums and really, really just wants to take a nap.
The God of the Bible is alien to most American Christians and they have no vision of who He really is. Ripping verses out of context at the urging of some preacher they take Jeremiah 29:11 and say God’s on our side regardless of our national sins, change the translation of the church clearly announced in Colossians 1:13; Genesis 5:24 with Hebrews 11:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:10 with Revelations 6:17; 11:18 which has special meaning in relation to how God created the universe with a non-Biblical word “rapture” that has no connection with the rest of Scripture, and change the meanings of many Biblical words and phrases like breeches, blessing, church, and house of God to suit an agenda rather than to honor God’s word faithfully.
America is perishing because America is starving from the famine of the word of God. There is no vision of God in America. There is a vision of a Roman deity, a god of the state, whether he be right wing or left wing, anarchist or totalitarian, but the God of the Bible, whom Abraham Lincoln acknowledged was on neither side in the American Civil War but on His own side, is not in our collective vision.
For want of it, the people are perishing. America is perishing because Christians are not faithful. Happy is he or she who loves God’s word, is in a constant prayerful state of reflection and communion with God, and who loves the Lord Jesus Christ far more than sports, their hobbies, their job, their material possessions, their political ideology, or even their flag and country.
The time is coming when you will have to choose; the God of the Bible or the god of the civil religion. Do you have a vision of Christ or a vision from Christ? Do you even know what you believe and why?