“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
If you follow this blog you know I like to examine Scripture in the light of the Hebrew culture and setting to understand the Bible better. Without this knowledge we are short-sighted. I explain with a word picture:
Studying Scripture from our Western/ American/ Greek view is like looking for gold in a dark mine with a dim pen light. You can see enough to stumble around but you need more light to see clearly. A good grasp of the ancient Hebraic customs and terminology would allow you to reexamine Scripture in this powerful floodlight, exposing intricate details and treasures.
In John 9:7 Jesus encountered a man born blind. To heal him, Jesus spit in the dirt, made some mud and applied it to the man’s eyes. Then Jesus told him to “go, wash in the Pool of Siloam.” If we examine this story in the context of the geographical location we get more meaning.
Pastor Ed Visser explains the Pool of Siloam is half a mile from the Temple Mount, down a very steep grade to the bottom of where the Kidron & Hinnom valleys meet. Walking down to the Pool (albeit on paved sidewalks), we felt what the man born blind experienced – a scary hike for sighted people!
How does that impact the story? And why didn’t Jesus just heal him there? Jesus was calling the man to real faith – not just belief, but to put his faith into action – by calling him to make a treacherous half-mile hike down a mountain.
To take even that first step was an incredible confession that he believed Jesus was the Messiah. As he did often, Jesus linked healing with faith. Sometimes we think faith is about intellectual assent to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.
In reality, faith is about taking first steps toward doing God’s will, even when it seems very much impossible. Is that the kind of faith we show? Do we confess Jesus with out feet?
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18
The Bible knowledge commentary explains“where there is no vision” is misleading in this passage. The word “vision” is the revelation (ḥāzôn) a prophet receives. Also the KJV translation “the people perish” does not refer to unsaved people dying in sin. Theverb pāra‘ means to cast off restraint. So the verse is stating that without God’s Word people abandon themselves to their own sinful ways. On the other hand keeping (obeying) God’s Law brings happiness.
Sight and vision is understanding and obeying God’s Word.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for your Word and you world. Open the eyes of our hearts! Give us vision in the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know You better.
The En-Gedi Resource center enter has compliled a great list of devotionals that examine the Bible within the Hebrew culture. See more super articles at Water from the Rock.
Listening to the Language of the Bible is a guide for discovering the richness of the Scriptures in their Hebraic setting. From seemingly odd phrases, it shares important insights from Hebrew and Jewish culture that clarify reading and deepen Bible study. It also looks at the powerful sayings of Jesus in light of the Jewish culture of his time.
The book contains more than 60 brief, illustrated devotional articles that unpack the meaning of a biblical word or phrase for our lives. It is intended both for personal reflection or group discussion. See excerpts.