Homosexuality is a sexual addiction. But it’s just one of many. There’s also pornography, masturbation, pedophilia, rape, incest, fornication, adultery, and bestiality. They’re all sex sins. They’re all addictions.
Yesterday, I asked God, “Why are so many people addicted to sex? Why do they want to undress? Why do they revel in the naked body? Why is there no shame or restraint?” That evening, God answered. He made me read Proverbs 29:18 in a Jews for Jesus blog post about Mardi Gras. “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” This is the King James Version. Here are sixteen others:
New International Version
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
American Standard Version
Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Bible in Basic English
Where there is no vision, the people are uncontrolled; but he who keeps the law will be happy.
When prophecy shall fail, the people shall be scattered abroad: but he that keepeth the law, is blessed.
English Standard Version
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
God’s Word Translation
Without prophetic vision people run wild, but blessed are those who follow [God’s] teachings.
New American Standard
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
New Century Version
Where there is no word from God, people are uncontrolled, but those who obey what they have been taught are happy.
New International Reader’s Version
Where there is no message from God, the people don’t control themselves. But blessed are those who obey the law.
New King James Version
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
New Living Translation
When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is happy.
New Revised Standard
Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint, but happy are those who keep the law.
Revised Standard Version
Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
Today’s New International Version
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed are those who heed wisdom’s instruction.
Young’s Literal Translation
Without a Vision is a people made naked, And whoso is keeping the law, O his happiness!
Still, the Hebrew is what matters.
“Vision” [Heb. chazown]: vision, revelation, oracle, prophecy [divine communication]. In the KJV, this word is always translated as “vision.”
“Perish” [Heb. para]: cast off restraint, let go, let loose, ignore, let alone, neglect, reject, let the reins loose, let go unbridled. This word appears sixteen times in the Bible, four times as “naked,” “bare,” and “made naked” in the KJV.
So what’s the point? According to Jamieson, Fauset, and Brown (1871), “no vision” means no “instruction in God’s truth, which was by prophets, through visions.” When the “people perish,” it means they “are deprived of moral restraints.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary (1706) says even more.
I. The misery of the people that want a settled ministry: Where there is no vision, no prophet to expound the law, no priest or Levite to teach the good knowledge of the Lord, no means of grace, the word of the Lord is scarce, there is no open vision (1 Sa. 3:1), where it is so the people perish; the word has many significations, any of which will apply here. 1. The people are made naked, stripped of their ornaments and so exposed to shame, stripped of their armour and so exposed to danger. How bare does a place look without Bibles and ministers, and what an easy prey is it to the enemy of souls! 2. The people rebel, not only against God, but against their prince; good preaching would make people good subjects, but, for want of it, they are turbulent and factious, and despise dominions, because they know no better. 3. The people are idle, or they play, as the scholars are apt to do when the master is absent; they do nothing to any good purpose, but stand all the day idle, and sporting in the market-place, for want of instruction what to do and how to do it. 4. They are scattered as sheep having no shepherd, for want of the masters of assemblies to call them and keep them together, Mk. 6:34. They are scattered from God and their duty by apostasies, from one another by divisions; God is provoked to scatter them by his judgments, 2 Chr. 15:3, 5. 5. They perish; they are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hos. 4:6. See what reason we have to be thankful to God for the plenty of open vision which we enjoy. II. The felicity of a people that have not only a settled, but a successful ministry among them, the people that hear and keep the law, among whom religion is uppermost; happy are such a people and every particular person among them. It is not having the law, but obeying it, and living up to it, that will entitle us to blessedness.
Last week, I was struck by a passage in Lamentations: “The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them. They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills” (4:4-5, KJV). God made me see that this is the condition of America right now, even in her churches. Spiritual babes in Christ are starving for the Word. They’re not being fed or discipled. The same is true for unbelievers. The leaven of the Word is not reaching them. And as a result they’re “embrac[ing] dunghills” – ash heaps … sin.
Is anyone preaching the Word, the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are they preaching with spiritual unction and anointing? Because this is what America – the world – needs right now! The solution to every sexual addiction is Jesus Christ. So what must you do? Seek the face of God. Fast, repent, and pray. Then witness in the power of the Holy Spirit.