Proverbs 3:1–3 (ESV) My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
“Kiss me you fool!” When my wife says that – I light up like a roman candle. That’s one command I just can’t get enough of. I LOVE to obey it – every chance I get. And that is the very premise of this 3rd chapter of Proverbs.
Solomon, in instructing his son – bids him to be sure not to “forget” his teaching, and to “keep” (to treasure up) his commandments. And what commandment is he referring to? To never let his heart and mind operate apart from a full awareness of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. To live, luxuriating in the reality that God’s love toward Him is steadfast – unmovable and unchangeable, and that He is absolutely faithful to all of His promises and in the fidelity of His divine love.
It is no mistake that these words copy the core of God’s self-disclosure on Sinai: Exodus 34:5–6 (ESV) “5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…” One immediately thinks of Jude 21a “keep yourselves in the love of God.” The idea there isn’t to keep yourself lovable BY God, but keep your heart and mind fixed on the reality of God’s love FOR you!
So here – Solomon knows that the issues of life are all wrapped up in the individual knowing the nature of God’s nature and love for them in Christ.
Believer – do YOU know it? Do you live here? Or are you secretly living the life of performance? Underneath it all, do you find your heart’s repose more located in whether or not you’ve done well today (reading the Word, praying, worshiping etc.), than in the knowledge of HIS steadfast love and faithfulness? If so, you are denying grace, and looking for self-justification. It is so subtle, isn’t it?
So our Writer by the inspiration of the Spirit calls us to “bind” these realities around our necks – more! To carve them into the very seat of our affections and understanding. For apart from this – we will fall into mere religion. But to live here, is to live long, savory days of life and peace.
What a Savior!