Proverbs 7:1–5 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; 2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; 3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, 5 to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.
It is hard to miss the repetition and emphasis in these opening words of Proverbs 7: “keep”, “treasure”, “keep”, “keep”, “bind”, “write”, “say”, “call” – All in reference to God’s Word. Solomon is truly driving his point home. He is telling his son that he not gain expect to gain the mastery in his struggle against sin – especially given the deceitfulness of his own heart – with a mere passing interest in God’s Word. It is meant to be bread, and life.
It is interesting to note that Solomon’s choice of words here by the Spirit’s superintendence is not to be ignored. “Keep” is repeated 3 times alone. And while we rightly think of keeping God’s word in terms of obeying it, that is not the only signification of the word. In fact, it seem that it is almost always also tied up with the second word Solomon uses – treasure. In other words, to keep God’s word is not merely to obey it, but to keep it as a treasure – to cherish and value it, and in some cases, even to protect it.
Here is then is one great “secret” to obedience – that God’s Word is “treasured”, prized and delighted in. And not because of the material only, but especially because of Who has written it to us. We delight in Him and therefore want to know everything He has said. When that kind of love is at the bottom of our reading and study – we are never in the place of simply carrying out commands, we are indulging ourselves in our highest Love.
Only an entranced love can keep you from the seductions and wiles of the enemy. Nothing else will do.
As the 19th century Scottish divine wrote in his famous treatise on “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”: “There are two ways in which a practical moralist may attempt to displace from the human heart its love of the world – either by a demonstration of the world’s vanity, so as that the heart shall be prevailed upon simply to withdraw its regards from an object that is not worthy of it; or, by setting forth another object, even God, as more worthy of its attachment, so as that the heart shall be prevailed upon not to resign an old affection, which shall have nothing to succeed it, but to exchange an old affection for a new one… In a word, if the way to disengage the heart from the positive love of one great and ascendant object, is to fasten it in positive love to another, then it is not by exposing the worthlessness of the former, but by addressing to the mental eye the worth and excellence of the latter, that all old things are to be done away and all things are to become new.”
Nothing has the power to move us from something we love (even a sin) than loving something else more. But, you cannot love whom you do not know. And you cannot know Christ – apart from His Word. We cannot have the freedom we desire, until we love the One who is supremely lovely, and the object most worthy to be loved and adored above all else.
So it is when confronting our sins, we always have to ask ourselves, why is it my love is so deficient, that the love for this sin rules? And then seek to remedy that condition, thru exposing ourselves incessantly to the wonders of His beauty and grace and goodness, until our hearts are brought to the full.
Lord Jesus – let your Spirit truly cause our hearts to overflow with your love – that we might love you as is fitting, and so walk with you in all freedom and joy. Master us in your love.