Well, I’ve heard this week’s verse misused so many times it makes my list for “Dumb Stuff that Drives Dave Crazy.” Now, I won’t be publishing that list since some of you might consider it a worthy challenge, while others might simply add it to their weekly to-do list. However, this one is misused, misunderstood, misinterpreted, misquoted, etc., etc., etc., so blatantly wrong so much that I want to add the letters “smh” after my name (some of you will have to look that up).
The next verse in our series on “The Most Misused & Misunderstood Verses in the Bible” (#3Mverses) is Proverbs 29:18. In the King James Version (most commonly quoted by people who would never preach from it) we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” And after having ripped it out of context, one of the most prominent evangelical pastors in the country has used it to support his Oprahesque contention, “your dreams determine your destiny.” Because apparently, in his view, God doesn’t have much to do with it. Aaaagggghhhhhhh (that’s me screaming).
Actually this verse would be a great example of how English words change meaning over time, since it has nothing to do with either vision or perishing. And it certainly has nothing to do with your dreams or your destiny. So this Sunday we’re going to see what it really means — if it’s not about “vision” or “perishing,” what is it about? And, by the way, the part quoted is only the first half of the verse, and it’s the second half of the verse that contains the main point of the verse!!!! And ignoring the second half of the verse results in more screaming on my part!!!!
So, as we examine it within the context of Proverbs, which is all about wisdom (and so misusing this verse demonstrates the lack thereof), how are we to understand this verse in a way that leads to living wisely? And how are we to apply it to our lives in a way that will keep me from screaming? Man, with all this screaming going on, you should start praying now for my voice to hold out to the end of the sermon. I’ll see you Sunday. And maybe you’ll be able to hear me. Till then, Dr. Dave