"A transforming vision"

Where there is no vision, the people perish," states the well-known proverb (29:18 KJV). Or, as the New Living Translation puts it: "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild." In this most simple of statements lies a profound spiritual truth. When we lose sight of God's revealed wisdom, we experience moral decay. Like the Israelites with their golden idol, we descend into "revelry" (Exodus 32:1-6). Like the people of Jeremiah's day, we spiral into injustice (Jeremiah 7:5-10). The cry of the Old Testament prophets was always twofold: God's people have lost their vision of Him, and as a result they are "running wild" to the point of destruction.

This was the situation in Hosea's day. There was no knowledge of God left in the land of Israel (4:1), for the priests and the people had lost their vision of God and His truth (vv.6,9). The city was now filled with murder, theft, and prostitution (vv.2,13). The wealthy were oppressing the poor (Amos 8:4-6). Hosea sums up the situation this way: "Your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away" (4:3). Again, when we lose our vision of God and His revealed truth, we experience moral decay. I see this principle at work in my own life. When I lose sight of God through selfishness, busyness, or forgetfulness, I begin to lose control of temptation, worry, and sin. My love for my neighbor diminishes and my concern for the poor declines. The reason is clear: God is our model and His nature is our guide. His holiness fuels our holiness; His love motivates our love; His faithfulness inspires our faithfulness. We become what we worship.

Today, let's ponder Jesus, who gave us the ultimate vision of God (Heb. 1:3). He longs to make us "into His glorious image" (2 Cor. 3:18). , Sheridan Voysey, Our Daily Journey

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