When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. – Proverbs 29:18
9 When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain.
20 He took the calf they had made and burned it. Then he ground it into powder, threw it into the water, and forced the people to drink it.
21 Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?”
24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire – and out came this calf!”
25 Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the LORD on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for your sin.”
35 Then the LORD sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.
How do people come to know and understand?
Over the millennia, there have been three recognized methods employed by people to learn and know things: experience, thinking, and revelation.
Empiricism holds that knowledge comes from sensory experience. It emphasizes personal experience, observation, and perception.
Rationalism suggests that knowledge is based primarily on logic, intuition, thought, reflection, and contemplation.
Many great discoveries and been made through experience and thoughtful consideration. But both experience (empiricism) and thinking (rationalism) are constrained by human limitations. Is it possible that there is information which exists apart from human experience and reflection?
Yes, the Father and the information which He alone possesses, is totally outside the realm of our personal reality and knowledge. When we meet the Father and enter into a personal relationship with Him, a whole new source of learning opens up to us. Divine revelation found in the Scriptures, becomes a new basis of knowing and understanding.
The Father exists apart and separate from limited reality of people. Human capabilities are finite, the Father has no such limitation. Much of what man has “discovered” was actually revealed in the Scriptures thousands of years ago. For example, the universe as we know it is not eternal, but it had a beginning. Modern science refers to this as the Big Bang.
The Scriptures provide revelation that informs us of things we cannot know in any other way. They provide answers to questions which are unobtainable through rationalism and empiricism. Is there really a God? What is God like? Why is there evil in the world? What is the Father’s provision for it? What is the nature and source of human sin? Why did the Lord Jesus Christ die? Why was He resurrected? What does the future hold and how does history end?
Regrettably, many who live in the modern scientific era believe that divine revelation is no longer a source of knowledge. The logic is quite simple. Often, modern man rejects the existence of God. It follows that if there is no God, there can be no divine revelation.
The Scriptures plainly provide ample warning and caution regarding the consequences of abandoning revelation.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
REFLECT & PRAY
The number of times that I have done what was right in my own eyes and abandoned the truth of the Father’s revelation is embarrassingly large.
Father encourage me to take Your revealed truth seriously and make it the foundation of my belief and actions.
In Proverbs 29:18, the Hebrew word translated vision is chazon. It may be translated revelation, prophetic vision, or divine guidance. It refers to the ability to discern events or the ability to foresee or anticipate the future.
The Hebrew word translated cast off restraint is para. Para means to neglect, let go, let loose, or throw off authority. It is used in the passive form in the Hebrew and means to lack restraint.
Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Ecclesiastes 8:11 When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.
When we depart from the Father and His truth, we often fall into anarchy and simply run wild. What happens when a society rejects God’s revelation, and everyone does as he sees fit? You get a culture that looks a lot like 21st century America (Stanley).
Without the firm foundation of absolute truth, things are constantly shifting, unsettled, uncertain, and adrift. The social compact of civilization simply breaks down We do what is right in our own eyes without regard to any higher authority or truth.
Is it possible for modern culture and society to have harmony, balance, and restraint without absolute truth?
Choices have consequences, and bad choices have bad consequences. There are often unintended and unanticipated outcomes of bad choices. Such consequences are often far worse than the choices themselves. Conduct that appears to be safe and appropriate can wind up being a disaster.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, but as its end is the way of death.
“In the Hebrew text the metaphor is more vividly expressed: “There is a way that seems right before a man, but at its end are ways of death.” A man stands at the beginning of a road and it looks fine to him; but when he comes to the end, he discovers death lies before him no matter which way he turns” (UBS).
“God forgives sin and wickedness when we repent and come to Him in faith, but He does not always prevent us from experiencing the consequences of our wicked behavior” (Stanley).
Life choices are often beset with danger and deception. They often appear to promise or even deliver happiness, power, and the good life (Ross). But whatever we gain, does not provide lasting results. They certainly do not accompany us into eternity.
What ultimately matters is not what we know or acquire during our lives on earth. Rather than what, lasting satisfaction is derived from Who we know.