“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (KJV, Prov. 4:20-23).
“My son, attend to my words”
Father, I thank You for Your words. I thank You for caring enough about me to speak to me and communicate with me. I thank You for sending out Your Word to heal me and to deliver me from destruction. Your words are good words. Your words are pure words. Your words are truth, and they are a sure path to eternal life.
However, I find that I can get rather distracted from what is truly important. I find that I can get caught up in the midst of this life and forget much about what You have told me. I see the advice of Solomon and the necessity to attend to Your words.
I pray that I would be intentional about placing myself by Your words and that I would never cease to think about what Your Word has to say.
“incline thine ear unto my sayings”
I thank You for the guidance of Solomon and the help that I have been given through the book of Proverbs. I thank You for the wisdom that is found within this book. I also see that faith comes through hearing and that hearing comes through the Word of God.
In the verse today, Solomon has made it clear that I must incline my ear unto Your Word. I pray that You would help me to do this. I pray that I would not just place myself in a position to hear what Your Word says, but I pray that You would teach me to listen.
Inclining my ear unto Your sayings consists of much more than simply sitting in a pew when a message is proclaimed. Teach me to listen, Lord.
I also pray that You would open my ears. Even if I try to listen, there is a way in which I will not hear rightly and with conviction unless the Holy Spirit opens my ears.
“Let them not depart from thine eyes”
Father, I also pray that You would discipline me to look upon Your Word. I pray that I would not be satisfied with simply hearing others talk about the Word, but that You would burden my heart to read Your Word.
Open my eyes as I read Your Word, as well. I am reminded of the disciples in the Gospels. I am reminded of the way that they did not see rightly. Even though Jesus, the Word Who was made flesh, was right in front of them, they did not see as they ought to have seen. I am reminded of the man who needed his eyes rubbed twice before he could see clearly.
I pray, Lord Jesus, that You would rub my eyes so that I could see. I pray that You would open my spiritual eyes so that I would understand Your Word. I need Your help, Lord Jesus; I cannot know Your truth and understand Your truth apart from Your working within me.
“keep them in the midst of thine heart”
Father, I thank You that You have made a way for my heart to be cleansed. You desire that my heart would be pure and blameless before You, while at the same time, You do not leave me alone to figure out how to purify it. I thank You for the promised Holy Spirit. I thank You for my union with Christ.
Surely, the cleansing of my heart begins with You, O God, and not my own efforts.
I also thank You for giving me work to do. You have told me that a young man can keep his way pure by guarding his way with Your Word. You have told me that I must store up Your Word in my heart to fight against sin in my life.
You have told me that Your Word is sanctifying. I pray that You would burden my heart for holiness. I pray that You would teach me the importance of holy living before You.
I thank You that no matter what temptations I face, You will always provide a way out of them. However, I must know the way out. I must know what Your Word has to say. Your Word is truly a lamp unto my feet. Please, God, keep me close to You. Please do not let me go. Please guard my heart and lead me not into temptation.
“For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh”
I see that Your Word tells me that Your words are life to me. I see that in the Garden, Your words were life to Adam and Eve. Nevertheless, they chose death, and death is what they got. I see that the Israelites were given a choice; they were to choose life or choose death. Your words were life to them, but in large part, they chose death.
I find that there is a similar temptation in my heart to choose death. I pray that You would strengthen me in Christ to choose life. I pray that You would strengthen me in Christ so that I would not just hear Your Word or see Your Word, but that I would also do Your Word. Life only comes by way of doing Your Word.
Even the demons know what Your Word says. Even the demons believe, and they shudder. But it is those who do Your Word that will be blessed thereby.
Empower me by Your Spirit that I might run in the way of Your commandments. Teach me Your precepts and place them deep within my heart.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”
A command that I must never forget can be seen in this verse. You have made much of the importance of the heart of man: I am to love You with all my heart, out of the heart comes wickedness, my heart will reflect who I truly am, and what I speak is what is in my heart. Much more could be said about the heart, but time would not allow it.
Here, I see that You have given me clear instruction to guard my heart. I must be ready like a soldier at his post. I must not fall asleep on the job, but keep a close watch and be alert. The enemy is on the prowl, and he is craftier than the other beasts in the field. Teach me, Lord, to keep my heart like a faithful soldier of Christ. Teach me, Lord, to be on guard lest I fall.
You alone are worthy of worship. You alone are worthy of praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.