Friday, March 4, 2016

In Huntington Park, Where There Is No Vision

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."

Those words are posted to the back wall of the Huntington Park City Council Chambers.

What is it about vision which is so essential to any city governance?

The word "vision" is a translation of the Hebrew word "razon", and speaks of direct revelation from God.

The first mention of a word in the Bible often grants a reader insight into the deeper senses which God our Father wants us to receive:

"And 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." (1 Samuel 3: 1)

"Where there is no vision, the people perish ..."
Now, Samuel was a gift from God to Hannah (whose name means "grace" in Hebrew).

She prayed in great pain for the LORD to deliver her from her barrenness.

She had a wonderful son, Samuel, whose name means "heard of God".

Now, what was happening in Israel in earlier section of First Samuel?

The high priest, Eli, was corrupt, and so were his sons.

Eli refused to discipline them. He would not train them it the way of God's goodness (Proverbs 22: 6).

The sons were immoral, sleeping with other women and stealing sacrifices from the people.

As a sign of the sinful blindess of the people, the high priest was blind himself and obese.

Yet God visited Samuel, a type of God's grace, and blessed him with a revelation of His Word.

The young boy shared a harsh vision with the corrupt high priest Eli:

"15And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. (1 Samuel 3: 15-18)

There was no open vision during the corrupt rule of high priest Eli, yet God visited Samuel with a vision. Godliness flourished once again as the corrupt high priest and his wicked sons died:

When the Ark of God's Covenant was taken by the Philistines ...

"10And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. 11And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain." (1 Samuel 4: 10-11)

and then

"And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. 18And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years." (1 Samuel 4:17-18)

When there is no vision, the people perish, become loose, have no discipline.

All of this happened because the sacrifices were not  honored, and God's righteousness was not accorded through the shedding of blood.

As for the last mention of the word "chazon" in the Old Testament, we can receive further revelation:

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." (Habakkuk 2: 3)

This passage speaks of "vision" a number of levels.

Here is the key passage:

"I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

"And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

"Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:1-4)

This prophet cried out to the LORD:

"Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

"Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth." (Habakkuk 1: 3-4)

The prophet saw great wickedness in Israel.

We the People Rising have seen great evil in Huntington Park:

1. A complete rejection of the rule of law
2. Suppression of freedom of speech
3. Appointment of two illegal aliens to city commissions
4. Massive dismissal of qualified commissioners
5. Awarding contracts to friends
6. Appointment of political contacts and friends to city positions
7. Establishment and expansion of marijuana dispensaries
8. Routine violations of public record laws
9. Rapacious taxes for city services
10. High fees for citations
11. Rampant embrace of homosexual conduct

Like Habakkuk, I have seen so much wrongdoing and it permeates Huntington Park.

The good news continues:

"The vision is for an appointed time."

This vision also speaks of the Gospel!

"For ye have .need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

"For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

"But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." (Hebrews 10: 36-39)

More Scriptural evidence:

"Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you." (Habakkuk 1: 5)

referenced in the Book  of Acts:

"“Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

"And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God." (Acts 13: 41-43)

Final Reflection

"Where there is no vision, the people perish ..."

That is the first part of the verse, found in Proverbs 29: 18.

Where there is no revelation of God's Word, where there is no knowledge of His sacrificial love for us, indeed the people perish, they lose control, they have no boundaries.

And yet ...

" ... but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

"He who keepeth the law, happy is he"
Today, the law is fulfilled in Christ Jesus:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." (Matthew 5: 17)

and then

"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Romans 10: 4)

and also

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3: 23-25)

It is time for us to see that in Christ, we receive and keep receiving his gifts of righteousness and grace (Romans 5: 17)

Though the fulfillment of the law, and the culmination of just consequences seems to take a long time, all we have to do is wait upon--trust in, expect, have hope--in His word.

"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

"And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

"Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

"For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth." (Psalm 37: 5-9)

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