Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sermon notes: Anarchy or Obedience
July 3, 2005, AM
Ancaster, Ontario

Text: Proverbs 29:18
Scripture Reading: Exodus 32

Marriage in Canada sustained a heavy blow this week. Marriage has been the victim of drive by legislation for the past 40 years. First no fault divorce; then common law marriage; now homosexual marriage.

Two texts on the Peace Tower (Ottawa): Psalm 72:8 & Proverbs 28:19. Sermon about the latter.


1. Revelation
2. Anarchy
3. Blessedness

1. "Revelation": What kind? By way of a vision. Hebrew word is the word for vision. The KJV has "vision". KJV: Without a vision the people perish." I'm not sure what the fathers of confederation were thinking? The National Dream?

The Church Growth Movement likes to use this text (as trans. by the KJV). Say we must have a vision statement or the church/congregation will perish.

Not what this text is about. It's not encouraging us to have vision (statements). Rather, this text speaks about revelation, from God.

This vision is not a visual experience but a verbal. Refers to experience by which a prophet received the Word of God. When this word is used other times, connected with the Word. See 1 Sam. 31 and Psalm 89:19. In NT, Rev. 1:2.

God revealed his word by different means (visions, dreams, U & T) but always Word. Word based revelation. (Yes, also by creation; cf. BC 2) but Word most important.

Revelation was progressive. We have complete Bible. But it took several 1000 years.

2. Where there is no revelation, there is anarchy. The people cast of restraint. Literally: They let their hair down. Here: "run wild" or "are ungovernable."

Why? First because of the depravity of man. Apart from revelation (Word) we are dead.

Example: Exo 32:25: the same word is used twice. Moses, representing revelation (Word) had gone up the mountain, and the people went wild.

Example: 1 Sam. 3:1…

During the days of the judges. Few prophets: Deborah, three unnamed ones. Only a few revelations are mentioned (during days of judges). What happened? Public morality when down. Cf. Hophni and Phinehas: 1 Sam. 2:12ff. So bad that a prophet came: 1 Sam 2:27ff. They had no excuse. They had the law. They ignored the 10 Words of the covenant.

There were times the people wilfully cast of restraint / defiantly rejected revelation. 2 Chron 28:19. Same word used here again. Also Proverbs 1:25.

Then there were times the teachers were not faithful. Eli; Micah 3:5.

Or there were no teachers to be found (2 Chron 15:3). Caused trouble.

Interesting that the Septuagint (Greek transl. of OT) translates: "Where there is no interpreter, the people case of restraint." This, too, is true.

Acts 20:28ff: wolves!

It is the people (as a whole) who cast of restraint. You see that in Canada. In Parliament: a wilful ignoring of the Word. Some Members of Parliament spoke from faith. What they said was rejected by the majority. A nation is being destroyed through lack of knowledge. A famine of the Word. Wilful ignorance, therefore the more culpable.

If we ignore the Word, we are culpable. Consequences: anarchy. We live after Christ and have his complete Word. The more responsible. Live close to Christ and his word.

3. But blessed is he who keeps the law.

Blessedness = happiness. Who is happy/blessed? The law-keeper.

NB the singular: Blessed is "he". Cf. "the people" – collective for the mass of people. Now "he." He does not go with the crowd.

Exo 32: the people were running wild (v. 25). Individual Levites followed Moses, obeyed the law. It was brutal, but they were blessed (v. 29).

What about you? Do you run with the crowd? Or do you keep the law? Businessman? Young person?

"Law" = "Torah" = "instruction/teaching." Divinely revealed teaching. (Cf. modern connotations of "Law.")

Torah: Divine standard of conduct for the lives of God's people, and for all of life. The Bible's attitude towards Torah/Law is positive. It is not "a fist on the table" but good instruction. Godly instruction from parents aimed at encouraging wise conduct.

Some make a hard distinction between law and grace (law hard, grace good). But the law is not bad. At times Paul sounds negative about the law. But he is being negative to those who thought they could be saved by obedience to the law rather than through Christ. The law is good, even a source of grace (cf. Psalm 119:29).

Torah is summarized in the Ten Words of the Covenant, which start with: I AM the LORD your God." And then follows with: "This is how you must live." We as Christians, because of Christ, also live by that instruction. And we will be blessed.

Concl. The good instruction of the LORD is being fast-tracked out of our country. Bill C-38 (homosexual marriage) gave it another kick.

You? Are you running with the crowd? Or standing firm in Christ, in the midst of the flood.

Don’t ignore revelation. If you do it will be wilfully. You know better. Can't please ignorance.

Hold fast the instruction. Teach your children. You will be blessed.