The shootings that took the lives of 27 people today, 20 of them little children, is a terrible tragedy that has touched the hearts of our nation and no doubt the hearts of many around the world. Such an incident is senseless; it is evil; it is a violent act that is happening with greater intensity and regularity.
Why? God’s Word tells us why. The answer is found in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This verse has been widely misinterpreted. That’s because of the use of the word “vision.” Today we use the word “vision” to mean something akin to setting a goal or to have a worthwhile cause to follow. Often in Christian circles this verse will be quoted as a means to stir up people to have a goal and press on to see it come to pass. This is a misinterpretation.
To find the true meaning of the word “vision,” we must look at the original Hebrew text. The Hebrew word meaning vision is the word “hazon”. Hazon does not mean vision in a sense of having a goal. The translated word for vision in Hebrew means revelation. Reading Proverbs 29:18 in proper context and definition, the verse reads, “Where there is no revelation of God, the people perish.”
In the light of today’s tragedy, we think of the young man who killed all those people. This man behaved with evil intent. Why? We can conclude by his evil action that he was a man with an absence of God in his life. He was a man with no relationship with God; therefore, there would be no obedience to God’s Word, nor any respect for it.
Increasingly in today’s world we see an absence of God’s Word and the truth of righteousness and goodness that it teaches. A huge example of this fact is in our film industry. There is a great absence of love, goodness, respect for God and respect for one another in many of today’s films. Video gaming is another example. Both films and videos are filled instead with violence and hatred; everything that is opposite of God. Much of today’s music scene is filled with obscenity, vulgarity, and hatred. Once again, this is the opposite of everything that God is.
Where there is no relationship with God, there will naturally be no obedience to His Word. When there is no seeking God and His Word, people will lose restraint to an evil nature and they will abandon the goodness of God. When God and His love is abandoned and evil is left free to fill our minds instead, there will be evil action; there will be murders and all manner of violence.
What can we do? I encourage each of us to adhere to a very important instruction from God’s Word. II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Our nation is in a terrible state. Nations around the world have turned their backs on God. We are not “evolving” as some would say, into something better. We have collectively turned our backs on the revelation of God and we are perishing as a result. We must encourage each other to stand for God and His ways, which are light and truth and goodness. Without Him, evil will continue – without Him, we will perish.