18Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
The word vision refers to a prophetic utterance. The fact that people perish without God’s will being given by revelation is reflective of man’s desire to find meaning to this life or see beyond this world. They will presume what God is doing in a worship service. They try to discern God’s will in their lives during times of crisis. They want to know the message that God has for them in their dreams. They will try to find meaning in the mundane. They will stand in awe of the “face of Christ” in a picture of a cloud, the marks on a piece of toast, or in a root dug up out of the ground — all true cases! They will gravitate to fortune tellers, charlatans in church, astrologers, and prognosticators of all kinds to get a glimpse of the future.
In Solomon’s time, they did not have the complete revelation of God through His Word so they were dependent upon the prophets for a fuller understanding of Him. In the times of God’s silence they were more at risk.
10And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
11Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
13In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
1And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
Even though we have the complete revelation of God in His inspired Word, the Bible, today, still we hunger for the illumination of the Holy Spirit. We need it to understand God’s Word and how to apply it to our daily life. Whether the Israelites needed the extra revelation to make up for the rest of the Bible not written yet, or we desire special understanding of God’s will for our particular circumstances, there is still a blessing to be had.
The daily application of the law, a reference to the Word of God in general, will help us carry on when there is no special direction from God. We don’t have to have a special burden from God on every thing we do. Sometimes the moving of God is accomplished by the clear commands and the principles of His Word. If we don’t feel something special from God, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. It might just mean that He has already spoken in His Word and that should be sufficient for us to go on.