Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.”
This verse is often used as a catalyst for people in churches to ‘cast a vision’; they have some goal in the future that they wish to attain, and they use this verse as a springboard for their vision. Some claim that God has given them a vision and, as such, this now becomes the defining focus of their lives. But nothing could be further from the truth. This verse is actually talking about the proper teaching of the Word of God. Where there is no clear teaching of the Word of God – no proper expository, contextual teaching of the Word of God – people, referring to the society around us, cast off restraint; they are unable to control themselves. I recently read this account offered by a dear brother in the Lord who is a student of History:
On OCTOBER 11, 1798, President John Adams wrote to the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Division of the Militia of Massachusetts: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.” Adams continued: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
British Statesman Edmund Burke told the National Assembly, 1791: “What is liberty without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils…madness without restraint. Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.” Edmund Burke continued: “Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.”
U.S. Speaker of the House Robert Winthrop stated on May 28, 1849: “Men, in a word, must be controlled either by a power within them, or a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
Here we see that these very wise men understood that man will not control himself. He must have the Word of God preached and taught or the government will be forced to control him. The Bible is the foundation of all moral law. In it we find right and wrong very clearly laid out so that even a child will know them. King David wrote this in Psalm 119:11-16,
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.”
The first part is familiar to many; God’s word memorized in our hearts and minds helps us to stop sinning against God. We will still fail; we live in the flesh but we will fail less. We will sin less, but in this life we will not be sinless. God’s Word is a restraint to sin and lawlessness, but it is only effective if people know it. Like medicine, it is only going to fight the universal infection of sin if it is taken in consistent doses. Lately, the attacks on those that are Christians have become more and more overt, and frankly more and more acceptable to the masses. This was reported by Fox News on October 3rd, 2019, and confirmed by Ben Shapiro on his news as well:
“Dr. David Mackereth, 56, a National Health Service employee, was fired from his post at the Department for Work and Pensions in July because he would not use a transgender pronoun, saying he believes ‘gender is defined by biology and genetics’ and the ‘Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female.'”
Over the past 50+ years, we have allowed the Left-leaning politicians to take the teaching of the Bible out of the public view, beginning with the schools; and we have a generation of children that simply does not know that there are only two (2) genders. All else are mental issues and used to be considered so until the ‘revelation of the Bible’ was moved out of the public sphere. Sadly, the main issue is not the Left-leaning politicians; it is that the Lord’s ‘churches’ are not teaching the truth either. Many are not teaching the truth; every sermon is about how good we are and how God is bringing us from one season to the next, and the idea of sowing seeds, and on and on we go. Look, the Bible has all of that; but first and foremost, we are told by the apostle Paul that the scripture is given to us for doctrine first, but also for other things. See 2 Timothy 3:16-17,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Notice the order: doctrine, then reproof and correction, then instruction in righteousness, and then we are furnished “unto good works.” All reproof must be based on doctrine. Doctrines are the fundamental and eternal principles that are clearly laid out in the Holy Scriptures. Here are a few of the doctrines that we find clearly laid out in the scriptures:
- God created everything: Genesis 1-2; John 1: 10; Psalm 33:6; Job 26:13.
- God made man and woman (the only two genders in His image): Genesis 1:27, 5:2; Mark 10:6.
- God designed marriage for a man and a woman in sexual and matrimonial union only. Nothing else is good; all else is evil and wrong: Mark 10:6; Genesis 2:24.
- God prepared Salvation: Genesis 3:15; Romans 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10.
- God gave us clearly laid-out laws that apply to all people everywhere in the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20. While they were given to the Jewish people as a part of the giving of the Law, the Ten Commandments are designed to work with any people anywhere. These are the framework for our restraint.
- We need Laws, we need the rules because we are sinners, born that way and living that way: Romans 3:10, 3:23. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the “heart of man is deceitfully wicked.” A man/woman should never follow their hearts; they should only follow the expressed written word of God in obedience to it.
- Salvation is a gift of God: Roman 6:23; John 3:16; Ephesian 2:8-9. One can never do enough good works to win God’s salvation.
- God intended for men to work; even in the Garden, Adam was given work: Genesis 2:15. Even in the Garden, before sin came, man had to work. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, we are told that if a man is not willing to work, he should not eat. This has nothing to do with the sick, infirmed or crippled. But if an able-bodied man is not willing to work, he should not eat. Don’t feed him and feed his laziness. Why? Read verse 11; they have undisciplined lives and are accomplishing nothing. This one verse here would save us billions on our Welfare system.
- God gave us clear rules on how to administer the death penalty: Deuteronomy 19:15. You must have credible witnesses; if found to be lying, they are to suffer the fate that would have been administered to the accused. Then, Genesis 9:6 mandates the death penalty for murder. There are other death penalty crimes as well including rape, kidnapping and others. But it is clear that the death penalty is prescribed by God as just remedy for murder.
- Salvation is by and through Jesus only: John 14:1-6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 2:2.
We can go on, but all of these are doctrines; these are the rules that God has set up for us to live by, for us to govern society by, and to have order and, yes, restraint. In Judges 21:6 and 17:25, we are told that “in those days they had no king, and every man did what was right in his own eyes.” If we pair this with Jeremiah 17:9, that man’s heart is deceitfully wicked, then we see that when men do what is right in their own eyes, it is almost always evil and sinful. In Deuteronomy 17:18 we are told that the King that rules Israel was to have a copy of the Law with him at all times so he could govern justly. You see, the Law restrained the King, and the King obeying the law judged the people, properly executing justice.
The Left ideologies are that we don’t need God, we don’t need the Word of God, and we can simply live to please ourselves and all will be well. When left to ourselves without the Word of God, we never choose what is right. We need the restraint of the Bible to help us. We, the Lord’s people, with our voting record, have allowed the Left to take away the Bible from the public view, taken them from our schools, diminished free speech and limited where and how we can use the Bible. The NFL just tried to fine a man from one of the teams for wearing a headband saying “Man of God.” This used to be celebrated, but now it is vilified.
In an article from June 8, 2017, about a man named Russell Vought who was nominated by the President for the Office of Management and Budget, Bernie Sanders made it clear that he, Vought, was unfit for the job as he was a devout Christian who believed that Jesus was the only way of salvation and had expressed that thought in a paper saying that Muslims did not believe in the God of the Bible. This is a doctrine. Jesus clearly states that He is the only way, the only truth and the only life; no one can come to the Father but through Him. Mr. Vought clearly stated his beliefs. But Mr. Sanders came this conclusion:
“I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about,” Sanders said. “I will vote no.”
A man who has Christian beliefs is NOT WHAT THIS COUNTRY IS ABOUT? Now, go back to the quoted piece at the very beginning of this article, and you will see that, in fact, this man, Mr. Vought, was the very epitome of what the USA was about; he was a man who understood the restraint that the Bible brings to men when we obey its doctrines. Then, as Paul tells Timothy, we can do proper reproof, we can do proper correction, and we can produce proper works (proper lifestyle, both individually and as a nation; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).