I was reading this afternoon and came across a frequently misapplied verse. I have seen this verse in many places and none of those places have applied it right.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18).”

The first section of that verse is often quoted in writing about how to improve your life through the use of goals. In order to succeed in life you have to have goals, dreams or a vision to get you where you want to go. This verse is used to prove that.

Of course, all you have to do is keep it in context and you can see the real meaning. The second half of the verse gives you the context–keeping the law is the opposite of having no vision. Vision here doesn’t mean some dream or plan you come up with, it is referring to divine revelation. When people are not using God’s Word and direction they will get lost; when they stick with His word, happy days are here again.

I have yet to read this verse and have the conclusion be to listen to God’s word to have a happy life. I guess they are not using God’s revelation and their advice will not lead to a happy life. There’s nothing worse than destroying the meaning of God’s Word by ignoring its context. Rightly divide; don’t wrongly chop up.

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