A study of the book of Proverbs chapter three verses one through four.
My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands (vs 1 NKJV). My child, remember my teachings and instructions and obey them completely (vs 1 CEV).
We tend to forget and neglect the instruction of God. This is why he tells us to remember. The passage says, “Let your heart keep my commandments.” This means that the word of God can flee from us. Jesus also said that the word of God can be stolen as well (Mark 4:15). So we must continually hold on to his word and apply it in our lives.
Why can’t the word stay put?
Because the word of God is spirit – not a plain ol’ book with paper and ink (John 6:63). It’s easy for us to hold on to data from a text book in school, or our favorite songs. Physical or fleshly things (that have nothing to do with God) are easy to keep in our minds, but spiritual things are hard to first, grasp and then, to later hold onto. Because we are learning not to operate in the flesh but rather in the Spirit, keeping spiritual things is a struggle. But we are instructed to keep his law, his word and his commandments all throughout the bible.
So how do we do it?
We can’t just study our bibles once a week and expect to hold on to its instructions. As soon as we close our bibles after a session of study, and have been given revelation, our flesh naturally begins to work to rid our souls of anything we’ve received. Eventually the word is gone because we’re allowed the flesh to overcome our spirit’s hold on the word.
We learn by repetition.
The more frequent we study and apply the word, the more of it the spirit man in us can retain. This is an act of our own will, God is not going to do this for us. Finally, we will see the results of keeping God’s word: long life and prosperity (vs 2).
Respect and Love
Let not mercy and truth (love and loyalty CEV) forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem (good understanding KJV) in the sight of God and man. (vs 3-4 NKJV).
Another result of keeping God’s commandments is plain old love. And the scriptures reveal that truth and loyalty are attributes of love (1 Cor 13:4-7). As I’ve discovered in my own study of first Corinthians chapter thirteen, love is not emotional, but it has to do with treating others right, according to God’s standards. Love comes from the state of a person’s moral character, and that moral character comes from God. And because God is love (1 John 4:8), when we love, we show the God who dwells in us. Therefore, wisdom comes packaged with godly love.
Because we love people, the proverb says, we’ll be held in high esteem – people will respect us. In verse 4, the KJV says, “So shalt thou find favor and good understanding.” The translators say, “find favor and high esteem” is a better translation as you see in the NKJV. I like both translations because together they give insight into why some people don’t treat others with respect: they simply don’t understand them. Even more, they don’t have a good understanding of those people.
Because they don’t “get” some people, they don’t feel they should respect them. Now, those who think in this manner are sinfully wrong; especially if they claim to be Christians. The bible reveals that respect is also an attribute of love, so as Christians, who are commanded to respect everyone as well.
Another reason that people don’t respect others is that those others don’t show love. If I’m inconsiderate, self-centered, or I treat people as if I’m above them, why should I expect people to love and respect me in return? But finally, if we respect and love others, others will do the same and most importantly, God will love and respect us.