Without revelation people run wild, but one who listens to instruction will be happy. – Proverbs 29:18
Our church is engaging in weekly Scripture memory. Most of the verses are familiar to me, but I post them on our bathroom mirror each week regardless as a reminder of a biblical truth upon which all of us are supposed to reflect.
As I was getting ready very early this morning, the index card bearing I Proverbs 29:18, our verse for this week caused me to stop in my tracks. Maybe it was the excessive amounts of coffee I drank to get myself going that induced my alertness, but suddenly I saw it: That verse perfectly describes what has happened in our culture.
The Source of Revelation
God’s Word is the source of revelation, and God’s Word was once familiar to most people. It was the basis of public education, it was taught at home, and it was reinforced at church, which many families regularly attended.
But based upon a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote, we removed biblical education and prayer from the public domain. Soon, for various reasons, our culture became biblically illiterate. Before long the concept of going to church each week became strange and foreign. The Bible went from a well-worn favorite to a dusty coffee table fixture until it was eventually put out of view altogether.
As Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary comments, “How bare does a place look without Bibles and ministers! and what an easy prey is it to the enemy of souls! That gospel is an open vision, which holds forth Christ, which humbles the sinner and exalts the Saviour, which promotes holiness in the life and conversation: and these are precious truths to keep the soul alive, and prevent it from perishing.”
A Conversation with a Twenty-Something
This was driven home to me just last week as my family and I waited in line at Epcot. We struck up a conversation with a pretty 20-something from England named Beth who is preparing to become a lawyer.
“You’re the same age as my youngest son here,” I pointed out.
“Oh? What do you do?” she asked him.
“I’m a worship leader,” he replied.
A look of befuddlement clouded her face. “What’s that?” she asked.
He explained how he leads music at churches. “Do they speak English at your church?” she asked. “I’ve only heard services in Latin, and I’ve never understood them,” she laughed nervously.
I handed her a tract with our church’s address on it. “Yes, everything is in English. Our services aren’t what you would expect. You should come. You’ll actually hear the truth about what Jesus taught. Concept! And I think you’d like the music.”
“I play electric guitar and sing,” my son said.
“You mean like on TV?” she asked.
“Yes, like I suppose you might have seen a service like that on TV,” I told her. “Come. You would enjoy it.”
I don’t believe she came. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was convinced she not only had come to a new country but a new planet.
A Post-Christian World
It’s fair to say England is probably even more secularized than the United States, but we’re not far behind. We have donned the muzzle of political correctness. We have distanced ourselves from the gospel and instead taken up the banner of political activism. Meanwhile, we align more and more with the world and less and less with Christ.
We have fallen silent, and as we grow more silent, the world spirals increasingly out of control. Because without revelation, the people run wild. As other translations put it, “The people cast off restraint,” or “The people perish.” I don’t know what the original Greek translates best, but none of it sounds good.
Contrast the image of people running wild, casting off restraint or perishing with the image of the happy person who listens to the law. Other translations say that person is blessed. I know I’m pretty happy when I’m blessed, and I’m pretty blessed when I’m happy. Either works for me.
I already am happy and blessed because I immerse myself in God’s Word daily. I want to see other people happy and blessed as well. I am vocal about my faith; I endeavor to be more vocal. The day is approaching, and I long to stand before my Lord with hands untarnished by the blood of those to whom I failed to witness.
Let’s end our silence, my friends. The cost is far too high.