Solomon said, “Where there is not vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18). If you relate it to driving, this proverb makes a lot of sense. Obviously, we can’t drive blindfolded. If we did, we would end up in an accident pretty quickly. When we obey the traffic laws, we avoid getting tickets and usually arrive at our destination on time.
The Bible often compares life to a journey and heaven as the destination we want to arrive at. In this context, vision can be thought of as a clear view of the spiritual realm in which God exists. When we ignore or don’t pay attention to spiritual things, we ultimately end up in the wrong place, hell.
God’s laws are meant to be signposts that point us in the right direction. Sin is sometimes referred to as missing the mark. Another way to think of it is making a wrong turn or missing your exit on the freeway. Sin keeps us from reaching our destination. Therefore, we are much better off if we do what God tells us to.
Aside from reaching our final destination, heaven, our life’s journey includes lessons or pit stops along the way that refresh and restore us so that we don’t get worn out from our travels. Having a vision or road map helps us to not miss the exit when the next gas station is 100 miles away and our gas tank is almost empty. This is what I believe Solomon meant when he said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). He wasn’t talking about ending up in hell. He was referring to a loss of time or lack of progress. In essence, your life being put on hold.
Keeping God’s law is not so much about what we do as it is about what God does. When we obey God, He protects us and keeps us from harm. The word translated keepeth in the phrase “keepeth the law” (Proverbs 29:18) is shamar. Shamar means to hedge about or guard. “The word also means ‘to keep’ in the sense of ‘watching over’ or giving attention to (8104). As we pay attention to God’s traffic signals, He keeps us away from detours and makes sure we don’t end up in a ditch.