Sunday, 29 March 2020
Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he who keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restrain, but blessed is the one needs. Wisdom’s instructions. (NIV)
When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful. (NLT)
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restrain but blessed is he who keeps the law. (ESV)
Good morning brothers and sisters, I want you to begin the Lord’s day by shutting off all the troubling sounds crying out for your attention. Just close your eyes and imagine you are alone sitting at the feet of Jesus. Stop reading and be silent before his Holy presence. Pause! Listen! Speak Lord, your servant is listening! Pause!
Respond to God: pray aloud, in Praise, Thanksgiving, Confession from your heart.
I must confess James Wong still keep popping up in my mind. Tears and sadness still fill my eyes and heart. My question is not “WHY GOD!? I will get to know his wisdom by and by. More important to us, is “HOW?”, how do we respond to this devastating attack of Covid-19 worldwide and right here in our midst. Almost every 100 years there was a pandemic that had killed over 100,000 people each time – Bubonic Plague 1720, Asiatic cholera, near Kolkata 1817-24, Spanish flu 1918-20, Coronavirus 2020. They came and gone. The Covid-19 too will be a thing of the past when God restrain s his hand. I believe God is calling our attention. Are you seeing and hearing the Almighty?
Our scripture Proverbs 19:18 “where there is no vision people died” many motivational speakers have misused this text contrary to what Solomon actually wanted to say. The word “vision” in Hebrew means “revelation”. This was how God spoke to the prophets in the form of a dream or vision. It was God’s word delivered to his people. These words or messages always originated from God. In the Old Testament, there were many periods where God was silent or “no vision”.
In 1 Samuel 1:3, it was recorded that God’s word or revelation was rare. There was virtually no vision or revelation from God.
God was silent.
“The people perish” – “perish” in Hebrew means to loosen; to let go; to be out of control; to have no restrain; to run wild.
What Solomon said is that when there is no revelation or guidance from God, the people will run wild, go crazy, in a chaotic situation and without restrain. This unrestrained and chaotic lifestyle can and will lead to death.
So this verse is not talking about man’s vision for the future, not setting personal goals, church goals or even mission or evangelism goals. Solomon is not talking about vision coming from a man but a revelation from God. In this context, Solomon is saying, Israel as a nation will go wild and unrestrained without the revelation from God.
What is God saying to us today? The world is in a panic mode. Covid-19 has sent the world in a crazy situation. It threatens our lives, our economy, our politics, even our home is not spared. Yet, we seem to have almost anything money can buy. People will perish in their sin when they do not heed the revealed Word of God the BIBLE.
The second part says, “He who keeps the law is happy.” The one who hears and obeys God’s word lives an orderly and satisfying life. May God create a hunger and thirst for the Word of God that leads to joy and happiness.
Prayer for today
Deuteronomy 8.3 (NLT)
Yes, He humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
O God, You are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirst for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
Lord, we thank you we don’t have to live a life without you the guidance of your word and the ever-presence of your Holy Spirit. Forgive us Lord, over time we lost the hunger and thirst for you. We have hungered and thirsted for the temporal things rather than things that have long-lasting values. Create a new thirst in our heart for you and your word. May we learn to feast on your word. Let your revealed word guide us to live a Spirit-controlled life.
Lord, as the pandemic drags on, we are confronted with many situations that we have never faced before. We are worried and anxious about the unknown. We are literally out of control watching this pandemic spreading like wildfire. We come to you to plead for mercy. Lord, help the world to come humbly to admit there is a living God who is Sovereign. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Help us to let you be God. Forgive us of our pride and ignorance. Teach us to listen to you attentively and obey you exactly. By doing so you will we will be able to walk this day confidently and joyfully no matter what this day will bring.
We pray for Joy, Jade and Jo Hann as they grieve over the loss of their beloved husband and dad. Holy Spirit come and comfort and heal their sorrowing hearts. We pray for many others who have suffered similar loss be with them.
We pray for many elderly people who are staying alone, many homeless people, many who have lost their jobs, many who are struggling with financial problems. Lord, we will not be able to reach all of them. But help us to do what we can as an individual and as a church. Lord unites our hearts as we seek to meet the multitude of needs.
We lift up our church leaders to you grant them wisdom to unite the people to be a caring and loving church. In Jesus name, Amen.
没 有 异 象 （ 或 译 ： 默 示 ） ， 民 就 放 肆 ； 惟 遵 守 律 法 的 ， 便 为 有 福 。
弟兄姐妹们早安。我希望你们在主日开始的一天，关闭所有呼吁你们去注意并且令人不安的声音。 只要闭上你的眼睛，想象你是独自一人坐在耶稣的脚下。 停止阅读，并在祂神圣的面前保持静默。 暂停！ 听着！ 主请说，祢的仆人在听！ 暂停！
几乎每一百年都有一次大流行，每次都会造成超过10万人死亡- 腺鼠疫1720，加尔各答附近的亚洲霍乱1817-24，西班牙流感1918-20，冠状病毒2020。 它们来了又走了。 当上帝约束祂的手时，新冠肺炎也将成为过去的事情。 我相信上帝在召唤我们的注意。 你看到及听到全能的上帝吗？
我们的圣经箴言19:18说“没 有 异 象 ， 民 就 放 肆。”许多激励人心的演讲者误用了这段经文，违背了所罗门实际上想说的话。 希伯来语中”异象”一词的意思是”启示”。 这就是上帝以梦或异象的形式对先知说话的方式。 这是上帝的话语传递给他的子民。 这些话或信息总是来自上帝。 在旧约中，有很多时期上帝是沉默或”没有异象”。
“百姓放 肆”-“放 肆 “希伯来语的意思是放松;放手;失控;没有克制;狂奔。
因此，这节经文不是在谈论人对未来的愿景，也不是在设定个人目标，教会目标甚至宣教目标或传福音目标。 所罗门不是在谈论人的异象，而是来自上帝的启示。 在这种情况下，所罗门是说，以色列作为一个民族将在没有上帝启示的情况下变得疯狂没有克制。
上帝今天对我们说什么？ 世界现在是处于恐慌状态。新冠肺炎使世界陷入了疯狂的境地。 它威胁着我们的生命，我们的经济，我们的政治，甚至我们的家也无法幸免。 但是，我们似乎拥有一切钱可以买到的任何东西。 人们若不听从圣经，上帝所启示的话语，就会在罪中灭亡。
第二部分说，”惟 遵 守 律 法 的 ， 便 为 有 福。”听到和遵守上帝话语的人过着有秩序和满足的生活。 愿上帝赐我们有渴慕祂话语的心，使我们有喜乐的生活。
他 苦 炼 你 ， 任 你 饥 饿 ， 将 你 和 你 列 祖 所 不 认 识 的 吗 哪 赐 给 你 吃 ， 使 你 知 道 ， 人 活 着 不 是 单 靠 食 物 ， 乃 是 靠 耶 和 华 口 里 所 出 的 一 切 话 。
神 啊 ， 你 是 我 的 神 ， 我 要 切 切 地 寻 求 你 ， 在 乾 旱 疲 乏 无 水 之 地 ， 我 渴 想 你 ； 我 的 心 切 慕 你 。
主啊，我们感谢祢，我们不必活着没有祢，或没有祢的话语的指导和没有祢的圣灵随时的同在。 主，原谅我们随着时间的流逝，我们失去了 渴 想 祢及 切 慕 祢的心 。 我们却渴望了那些暂时的事物，而不是那些具有持久价值的事物。 让我们心里从新渴慕祢及祢的话语。愿我们学习尽情享受祢的话语。 让您所启示的话语指导我们过圣灵掌管的生活。