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Favor With God and Man
Pro 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
The Lord gives His wisdom that we might find favor with God and with man. He is saying, if you want life to treat you well, then this is how you are to live. He begins by telling us that His Word leads the way to a good life. "Do not forget my law" and "let your heart keep my commandments" are His specific instructions.
Do Not Neglect
The rendering of "do not forget my Word" is "do not neglect my Word". If we do not keep the Word before us, but give it a position to the rear, then we can easily neglect it. When we put the Word behind our own wisdom, we dishonor the Lord. We can take the lead, but if we do, we will be left to our own wisdom, which never ends in a good way. The Lord says to not forsake His Word, but let Him lead the way by keeping His Word before(before our wisdom) us.
The Word was never meant to be ritually observed, but fully believed, and cherished. The heart is the dwelling place of the Lord and the dwelling place of His Word. His Word is designed to change and renew our heart. For this reason, it is not spoken to the ear, but to the heart, which He says is the center of our relationship with Him. Because it is spoken to the heart, we have a choice to believe or not believe. We have the final say. We can hear with our ears, but it is our heart that chooses to believe. He says "let your heart keep my commandments." A good life begins with a heart that first believes and then keeps His commandments.
Pro 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Length of days, long life and peace shall they add to you! Not just a long life, but a long life with peace! It is the hearing, and the obeying, that adds favor to our life. Our life is favored, augmented and blessed by the wisdom His Word brings.
Live the Good
The emphasis is on living a good life. God is trying to tell us something. He is saying that to have a good life we must first live a good life; that good living preceeds good having. If we want to have the good then we must first live the good. If we begin with God then we can enjoy the benefits of the good, i.e., a long life lived in favor and peace.
Pro 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
Mercy and Truth
While verses 1 and 2 speak to the Word of God in a general sense, verse 3 specifically addresses the importance of mercy and truth. The Lord says to hold on to them. Life attempts to empty us by diminishing the priority of mercy and truth. The world will say mercy and truth have no practical value, but the Lord says there is great value. We should understand there will always be a natural opposition to mercy and truth and we should prepare ourselves for the fight. Bitterness will steal them, hatred will silence them, envy will ignore them, injustice will de-value them, and pride will never see them.
However, the wise man sees them and understands their value. He holds them tightly. He will not forsake them. He understands these qualities are the building blocks of a favored life. He knows, without mercy and truth, he is just another leaf blowing down the road. He desires substance, so he listens to the Lord and binds mercy and truth about his neck. He uses them often and keeps them readily available. He binds them about his necks and writes them upon his heart. They become one with him; they reside at his core. Mercy and truth cannot be superficial, and they must be more than emotion. To be real, and to endure, they must be written upon the heart.
Pro 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
The man who exercises mercy and truth finds that a good life is the gift of God. It is not the product of getting and having more. It is not education, it is not money, it is not outward beauty, it is not being more accomplished than others. No, favor is from the Lord and He gives favor to those who listen to, and obey Him. In their daily life they treat others with mercy and truth. They show, and are given, genuine respect. Mercy and truth are the way to favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man!
We can write many things upon our heart, but those who listen to the Lord see mercy and truth as great treasure, and joyfully write them upon the table of their heart.
God bless you,