Proverbs — News From The Source – Part 11
“My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:1-4
The truths by which Godly fathers live their lives become the truths they pass on to their sons and daughters. If they will keep those truths in their hearts so that they guide their lives in like manner they will find the same reward of long life, length of days and peace. The terms length of days and long life may be understood to refer to not just the accumulation of years (length of days), but also lives of productivity, energy, vitality and fulfillment (long life). It speaks to a sustained fulfilling quality of life and peace over many years.
“…Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck…”
Make mercy and truth your constant companions and friends. Let them define the character of your life and relationship to all people. It was a commandment under the Law of Moses that Jewish men were to wear phylacteries on the foreheads, and/or their wrists and/or forearms during morning prayers. The phylacteries were small leather boxes containing pieces of paper on which were written Hebrew texts of the Law of Moses. They are still worn ritually today by Orthodox Jewish men.
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:18
The idea was to keep the law in their sight and by these to be reminded to be obedient to it. These phylacteries were not just carried about in convenient containers, but they were actually fastened to the body as though they would become a part of the person’s very being. Not just something they had but something that identified who they were.
“…write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”
What is in our hearts is the measure of what we believe and what we will do in any given situation. It begins with what we say.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
When the Word of God is written on our hearts, then we will act in ways consistent with that Word. We will be driven to do the will of God and to live our lives to please Him, when actions, proceeding from our hearts, brings us the greatest pleasure, joy, fulfillment and peace. In other words when we are more inclined from our hearts to do what God’s Word directs us to do and when we are more fulfilled and find our greatest pleasure in doing so then we will desire to please Him all the more.
When our hearts are filled with the Word of God, from that place of purity will come an inner desire to be and to do all that God has called us to be and to do. Fulfilling the law of Love we fulfill the purpose and calling of our lives in Christ Jesus to the glory of God. The reward for our obedience is that we find favor and high esteem before God and man.