Where there is No Vision, the People Perish

Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18, KJV)

Solomon connects vision and perishing: without vision, God’s people perish. It behooves us, except we want to perish, to understand and attend to what God is saying in this verse.

The word “vision” in Proverbs 29:18 means a prophetic vision—a divine communication to the prophets of the Old Testament, which came through different channels, including open-eye visions, God’s audible voice, and dreams. It is crucial to note that vision in Proverbs 29:18 does not mean our dreams or goals (a different sense of the term vision).

Moreover, it is noteworthy that God’s communication was referred to as a vision regardless of the means by which the prophets received it. Even when God spoke audibly to a prophet, it was still considered as having been seen in the form of a vision – understanding the message from God.

After grasping the concept of “vision,” our next step is to figure out how it can be applied to us today(application). Does this verse mean we should look for someone with the prophetic gift or office to hear God and see a vision today? 

Throughout history, God has used a variety of means to communicate with His people: through the prophets to Israel, through Jesus during His lifetime, through twelve apostles to the early Church, and through the Bible to us today(Hebrews 1:1-2). Although God still uses prophets today, the role of prophets has shifted. 

Vision in Proverbs 29:18 to the believer in Christ today is the knowledge and understanding of God, His will, and purposes for their life revealed in the scriptures. Without this vision, we can be sure we will perish—suffer, be defeated, struggle, be baffled by the issues of life, etc.


Do you see visions as in Proverbs 29:18? 

Apply the Word

Proverbs 29:18 is similar to Hosea 6:4; in both, the Lord connects vision and perishing. May the Lord open your eyes, or rather, give you the desire to open your eyes to see visions this year!


Ask the Spirit to help you see wondrous things out of His Word. 

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