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The Vision Which Saves
Of all the blessings for which we thank God, none are greater than the light and the powers of sight which we possess. Obvious as are the advantages of the powers of physical sight, they only emphasize a condition which is indispensable in the moral and spiritual sphere. The wise man is thinking of the catastrophes which await those who for any reason are blind to the truth about life and who are 'destroyed for lack of knowledge'.
I. History contains many sad records of such catastrophes from the wilful refusal to behold the vision of life and duty.
1. We remember in the history of Israel how the people could not wait in patience for the revelation God would make known to them through Moses.
2. Again, in the judgment that came upon Eli and his sons we are told significantly, 'The word of the Lord was rare in those days. There was no open vision.'
3. In the days of Isaiah, because of the iniquity of the people, the punishment which shall fall upon them is spoken of as a penal visitation of blindness.
4. So true is it that men, having eyes, see not; they will not look beyond the fleeting, changing scene which allures them, to the vision of unchanging eternal reality, and therefore they perish. The sad lament never rang more pathetically than when at last it was said of Jerusalem: 'If thou hadst known in this thy day the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes'.
II. The gift of vision. The greatest gift of God to man has been the revelation of truth which has been vouchsafed in the person of the Eternal Son, Jesus Christ The vision of truth and the meaning of life has been finally manifested to mankind in the intelligible form of a human life. God has vouchsafed the vision of truth, which is 'the Light of Life'; but He has also given power to take in the vision, insight into the veiled mystery of truth, discernment of the inner reality which lies behind the transitory shapes of things which meet our eyes. 'He hath given unto us His Holy Spirit.'
III. Such is the gift. Consider how its inexhaustible benefits are conveyed to mankind. The gift is for the enrichment of human life, that men 'may have life, and have it more abundantly'. The interpreters of Divine messages, whether through the medium of paint or marble, through intellectual pursuits or discovery, as men of action or as thinkers, have been men of vision, 'the seers,' and are among 'the goodly fellowship of the prophets'.
At every crisis in the world's or our nation's history salvation or destruction has depended upon the capacity of men to see beyond the present, and the resolution to pursue with inflexible determination the vision which had been revealed.
J. P. Maud, Christian World Pulpit, vol. LXXII., 1907, p. 55.
References. XXIX. 18. Lyman Abbott, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlviii. 1895, p. 170. A. E. Garvie, ibid. vol. lxv. 1904, p. 27. J. P. Maud, ibid. vol. lxxii. 1907, p. 55. J. Pulsford, Our Deathless Hope, p. 157. XXIX. 25. W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 550. XXX. 1-9. Ibid. p. 559. XXX. 2. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxvi. No. 2140.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Proverbs 29". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent