WHERE THERE IS NO VISION THE PEOPLE CAST OFF ALL RESTRAINTS. PROVERBS 29:18 RV
Have you ever read something, and realize that it explains everything?
Well, last night, I read this introduction to a reflection by one of my favorite theologians, Oswald Chambers, and came to that conclusion.
For one, it explains fully and completely, the hottest topic in #Jamaicalandwelove; crime and violence in general, and specifically murder, and murder most foul.
And a debate, and search for solutions, has engaged the minds of some of our best known media personalities.
Fae Ellington’s #cnntweet, about which I wrote a few days ago. Ian Boyne’s column in the Gleaner on Sunday.
Michael Abrahams: Jamaica IS an extraordinarily violent country http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20160509/michael-abrahams-jamaica-extraordinarily-violent-country#.VzHHOqDyWoM.twitter
There is another one I saw last night; Erica Virtue’s ” I am tired a yah” which perhaps in its passionate appeal for a change, captures the longing that many Jamaicans have for peace, tranquility and justice
But in order to understand why the Word from Proverbs is so profoundly wise, you have to journey with me to where it all began. In Genesis!
The first time I read this passage, many years ago, I became so emotional and frightened, that I had to seek counseling from my spiritual father and mentor, the late Bishop Herman Spence. And since then I have more and more understanding as I read this Word, to which I was led a few nights ago.
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.
The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord .
The point here is that from ‘ day one’, mankind has lost the vision that : God is our Creator, God is our sustainer, God is Sovereign over all the earth, and God in Christ is our Redeemer and one Day will become our Judge.
And since then, ‘ having cast off all restraint’, we have been subject to His wrath. #TheFlood. But for #Noah.
And in this dispensation, #Judgement. But for #TheBloodofJesus.
And you can apply the same principle to our music and entertainment. For there too, like ‘ taking the life of another human being’ #murder, literally, we have ‘ cast off all restraint’.
For nothing is taboo anymore! Nothing is off limits. And as they say on the streets, in my country ‘ everything is everything’.
Apply it also to relationships: yesterday a patient told me that she had terminated her relationship with a man because he was ‘ no good’. Had fathered thirty-five children!
And so Oswald Chambers writes with great wisdom, inspired by Proverbs.
……” where there is no vision….” When once we lose sight of God, we begin to be reckless, we cast off certain restraints, we cast off praying, we cast off the vision of God on little things, and begin to act on our own initiative…
And for those intellectuals who believe they can solve Jamaica’s problems ‘ overnight’, like how Donald Trump plans to make America Great again by being ‘ smart’, another inspired Word from Chambers urges caution:
” When Thought is young, life looks simple, so does History, and man’s explanation is correspondingly simple and glib ( Don’t forget the glib).
But when Thought has passed its romantic days and has been made to face Life as it is, and History as it has been recorded, and the human soul in all its tragic features and triumphs, it is staggered, for all these forces are wild and untameable.
This way of Thought then becomes dim and perilous, and the human spirit cries out, ” Oh that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come even to His seat.
Perhaps, in a profound way, that’s the cry from our Minister of Finance as he came face to face with murder most foul at a funeral recently. And was seen on national television lamenting the ‘ poverty of the mind’ of our people.
And which triggered these tweets.
Check out @lucienforJesus’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/lucienforJesus/status/729641834650083328?s=09
Check out @lucienforJesus’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/lucienforJesus/status/729646858318979072?s=09
Check out @lucienforJesus’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/lucienforJesus/status/729648912944889856?s=09
Perhaps, in a profound way, that’s the cry from Michael Abrahams and Erica Virtue. And who knows, even the supporters of DonaldTrumpIllegalMigrantsareRapists – as they seek for a simplistic ‘ salvation’.
Sunday, in my church, and in many of the traditional churches, we will celebrate, again, Pentecost. The birthday of The Church! The Divinely inspired institution, with all its ‘ warts’, whose mandate, empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit is to spread the Gospel. The Good News, that in Christ,
‘ there is now no more condemnation’.
And that in Christ, God’s Redeeming Love can help us as individuals, and as a nation to ‘ restraint ourselves’, become new in Christ, and truly begin to love God and neighbor.
That is the only way murder and crime will end in Jamaicalandwelove, and in the world.
But the existential question is ” Do we wish to get better”? Or continue the debate outside the Church!
“O Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my master and my friend.
I shall not fear the battle, if thou be by my side,
Nor wonder from the pathway, if Thou wouldst be my guide”….. comes into my mind as I close.
And so does ‘ Your grace and mercy…. brought me through.
I’m living this day because of you….I want to thank you and praise your name…. Your grace and mercy brought me through….a song a Pentecostal patient and an Anglican doctor spoke about yesterday. And she sang a few words. And ‘ Glory ‘ was in that place.